Yesterday, after a year on the waiting list, I finally had an appointment with the audiology department to test my hearing for sensitivity.
My GP knows my dislike of Hull Royal so had sorted an appointment for me at Castle Hill hospital closer by…..😊
My weather app said it wasn’t raining but I opened the curtains to grey gloomy rainy clouds 🙄….the weather man on the telly also told me it was raining…..🤪…….it really was……
Anyway Sarah was taking me and we trundled our way in the rain, parked the car, then proceeded to trundle through the maze of buildings until we found the right entrance… 😇
My first appointment for the hearing test was 09.20 followed by the Doctors appointment at 09.50. However, they were already running 40 minutes late so we settled down in our seats to wait. It was a nice bright airy waiting room with lovely artwork on the wall. I particularly liked the one we were sat by
We’d watched the people shouting names and there was a particularly unsmiley chappie and I told Sarah to come in with me if I had him……..Eventually my name was called, but it was a smiley face that spoke my name for the hearing test so I went in alone for that bit as I had in my head that it would be a tiny cubicle……it wasn’t, it was a large room, so Sarah could have come 🙈🙄
He started asking me loads of questions, which suddenly emptied my mind but luckily I’d taken my iPad with me and on it I’d written my words. So I simply read them out:
“Not sure how much you know about dementia but one of my first senses to be affected was my hearing. I’m not going deaf, it’s just that certain tones of noise physically hurt my ears.
Now audiologists are recognising it’s affecting people with dementia and diagnosing them with hyperacusis and I suppose I’m here today to see if that’s what’s affecting mine.”
He was very open to listening and admitted he didn’t know anything about dementia and hearing……well at least he admitted it……
He did tests first on one ear and then on the other…..
Turns out I’m not hearing high pitches (normal with ageing) but the point at which it’s uncomcomfortable is very quick. With low levels I have a larger range but the range is still a lot smaller than normal before it starts to become uncomfortable.
He spoke about the existence of Digital hearing aids which can be set to block out certain frequencies but the doctor would discuss that with me.
He was a lovely chappie, smiley, friendly and willing to listen…….
So far so good………it was at this point that the system went slightly array…………
A doctor called me in…….asked questions…..and I read him the same blurb from my iPad…..he was also nice and smiley…….he eventually confirmed I had hyperacusis…….and then said he’d refer me to audiology for them to decide how to treat it……..well I thought he was audiology but apparently not😳🙈….he was ENT…….
So I have my diagnosis, I have a possible solution….but now have to go on another waiting list to wait for an appointment with the audiology doc…..🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈……hey ho….at least it’s confirmed now. Now I need to find some research to take part in…
For those that aren’t aware:
Hyperacusis is a condition that affects how you perceive sounds. You can experience a heightened sensitivity to particular sounds that are not usually a problem for others. This means loud noises, such as fireworks, and everyday sounds like telephones can feel uncomfortable and sometimes painful.
The main thing is that there’s something they can do……wonder how many other people living with dementia are going through this uncomfortable situation without anyone realising there’s something that can be done….? 😔