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Hearing & the brain.

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ten0rman
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Hearing & the brain.

#171502

Postby ten0rman » October 4th, 2018, 9:21 pm

As I think some of you will know, I have hearing problems! About 13 years ago I developed Menieres in my right ear, and this was followed by two operations to stop the associated dizziness, but the end result was that hearing in that ear was very poor indeed.

That didn't matter so much as long as the left ear continued working. Unfortunately something happened 18 months ago. I was taking part in a choral concert when I thought that the little orchestra we had was unusually loud. The following day I discovered that my left ear had taken a turn for the worse, indeed that evenings concert, and another one two weeks later were only possible because a colleague was behind me and I could just about hear him. The end result was that I had lost low frequency response in the left ear, and it took 6 months before I was fitted with NHS hearing aids. Which amplified everything but didn't seem to do much for the frequency loss. Which, of course, meant that listening to music became purgatory, because it just, were'nt right, not nohow. Distortion rules OK! And of course, singing was now out of the question.

Anyway, of late I seem to have "improved" somewhat. Music doesn't sound too bad now. Which is most odd because I was told one or two months to get used to the hearing aids, yet it's nigh on 12 months now.

So, is it possible that my brain, or what passes for a brain, has (slowly) adjusted itself to the new situation? I'd be interested in comments from other hearing aid users as how long it took to get used to them. And of course any other comments anyone, especially from any audiologists reading this, have.

MTIA

ten0rman

p.s. It's too late for me. My apologies for the poor quality writing.

midnightcatprowl
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Re: Hearing & the brain.

#171815

Postby midnightcatprowl » October 5th, 2018, 9:51 pm

Not a hearing aid user (yet!) nor an audiologist. But as the psychologist I previously was I'd say that the brain has a remarkable power to adapt to all sorts of things but may need time to do it but may then surprise you by the results.

As a small personal example, I still in my late sixties have what is described as 'perfect' distance vision when I have my eyes tested but I do need reading glasses (which I knew without an eye test to tell me so or rather it was why I went for the eye test in the first place) or of course I need to increase the text size on my kindle which is a slightly different issue.

I had a lot of trouble with the first reading specs I had, so much so that I went back to the optician and was re-tested and some slight difference was made to the prescription. I had still had problems about using them i.e. I couldn't see print particularly well when using them and would also start to feel rather sick when trying to read. I tried another optician, had my eyes re-tested and explained the difficulty I'd had with the first prescription. The young man doing the new tests explained tactfully and without criticising anyone that it was just possible that if you'd had a mild astigmatism from birth that your brain would have learned to cope with this and give you a true picture of the world. Sometimes this mild astigmatism would show up on a test taken in later life and the person doing the tests would try to build a correction for this into your glasses which meant that they would not 'work' for you as your brain was used to correcting for the mild astigmatism and essentially didn't need any help.

If I did have a mild astigmatism it would not be surprising as my father had a major astigmatism and needed glasses throughout his life but on started to need a correction for reading once he was over 70 years of age while his distance vision remained good. School eye tests when I was young amounted to nothing more than reading letters from a distance, nobody was looking for anything else unless you were showing really severe difficulty in reading from a book or from a blackboard (and even then I'm sorry to say the problem would often be put down to lack of ability rather than a physical problem).

The brain is a remarkable thing and acts in all sorts of remarkable ways. I couldn't possibly say if it was doing its thing in your case but it would not surprise me if your brain had worked out a way - a partial way at least - through the sensory problems you've been facing

colin
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Re: Hearing & the brain.

#171876

Postby colin » October 6th, 2018, 11:41 am

I have no direct experience specific to your situation, just to point out that the signals the brain receives from the outside world are passed along nerve cells by chemical and electrical signals. The mechanics of the inner ear turn sound waves into electrical signals, when you were a baby you had to spend many months absorbing all these different signals while your brain learned what all these electrical signals meant by constructing 'neural pathways' which were strengthened by repeated experiences or otherwise faded away. I am no expert (or a doctor!) but perhaps your brain has had to construct new neural networks to adjust the 'meaning' of the altered signals, then again maybe the battery is just going flat.

ten0rman
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Re: Hearing & the brain.

#172088

Postby ten0rman » October 7th, 2018, 2:13 pm

Colin,
I'd never considered what a baby goes through. Which of course is quite apt in my case. So thanks for that thought.

In general then, it would seem quite possible that my brain has slowly been changing itself.

Thanks to both.

ten0rman

p.s It does make me wonder if there might be a chance to return to singing, and thus live up to my pseudonym.

colin
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Re: Hearing & the brain.

#172180

Postby colin » October 7th, 2018, 11:30 pm

p.s It does make me wonder if there might be a chance to return to singing,

good luck, hope it goes well.

ten0rman
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Re: Hearing & the brain.

#172223

Postby ten0rman » October 8th, 2018, 9:32 am

Thanks Colin.

ten0rman

midnightcatprowl
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Re: Hearing & the brain.

#172347

Postby midnightcatprowl » October 8th, 2018, 8:21 pm

Good luck tenOrman. You can't tell but sometimes you can't assume that all is lost without giving time a bit of a chance. Hope time gives you what you need and especially to start singing again!

Lynn


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