I was born with hearing. When I was 33 years old, married with three young children aged 7, 4 and 1, I lost my hearing on my right side to a form of meningitis.
It all appeared to happen suddenly. I answered a phone call from my mother and put it to my right ear but could not hear anything. I assumed something was wrong with the phone so I asked her to call back. When she did I put the receiver to my left ear. I could hear her clearly. Putting it back to my right ear I realised I was deaf on this side. Hearing my panic, my mother said it was probably the wind and cold from the previous day and to take some hot lemon drinks and see if it improves.
After a week I went to the GP and although he could see nothing wrong with the ear, he prescribed me antibiotics. They didn’t work, so I tried stronger ones, still no change. Ear drops, nasal sprays, all kinds of medication followed, and after 6 weeks I was sent to hospital for a test.
All tests drew a blank, so they asked me to return for an MRI scan. The results showed that I was nerve deaf, a meningitis virus had killed the nerves that I needed to make my right ear work normally – you cannot repair nerves. I was just sent away without any help or advice.
My children grew up with a partially deaf mum, with me being effected for the next 23 years. In fact they still talk in loud voices, one of the ways to get my attention when they were young.
In 2006 I had a problem with my left (good) ear. I went to see a new G.P. He explained that it was arthritic pain. However, he was concerned that I had no hearing in my right ear. He told me about a B.A.H.A. (Bone Anchored Hearing Aid) and had a colleague who had worked with my surgeon at The Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in Grays Inn Road.
I had the BAHA fitted, it has changed my life dramatically, however I must point out, it is not a magic cure and is only effective for certain types of deafness. There are many ways for you to change your life and overcome your deafness, regardless of type.
Your first step is acknowledge your deafness – visit your G.P. You can request a hearing test at a hospital of your choice. Please see Hearing Test and Support for further info.
> My Story
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