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A Quiet World

A Quiet World: Living with Hearing Loss

Copyright Date: 2000
Published by: Yale University Press
Pages: 224
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  • Book Info
    A Quiet World
    Book Description:

    Some 28 million people in America and 350 million people worldwide live with hearing loss. How do these people and their families cope? What are their experiences of pain, humor, and hope? What support do medicine and technology now offer them, and what is on the horizon? In this engaging and practical book, David Myers, who has himself suffered gradual hearing loss, explores the problems faced by the hard of hearing at home and at work and provides information on the new technology and groundbreaking surgical procedures that are available.Drawing on both his own experiences and his expertise as a social psychologist, Myers recounts how he has coped with hearing loss and how he has incorporated technological aids into his life. The family and friends of the hard of hearing also face adjustments. Myers addresses their situation and provides advice for them on how best to alert loved ones to a hearing problem, persuade them to seek assistance, and encourage them to adjust to and use hearing aids.

    eISBN: 978-0-300-13028-7
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Public Health

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. 1 Adaptation
    (pp. 1-22)

    On one of those treasured visits to my parents’ home on Bainbridge Island, Washington, I use a magic pad to communicate with my eighty-year-old mother, who four years previously took the final step from hearing-impaired to deaf as she gave up wearing her by then useless hearing aids.

    “Do you hear anything?” I write.

    “No,” she answers, her voice still strong although she cannot hear it. “Last night your Dad came in and found the T.V. blasting. Someone had left the volume way up; I didn’t hear a thing.” (Indeed, my father later explained, he recently tested her by sneaking...

  5. 2 Relationships
    (pp. 23-50)

    Life is getting easier, and harder. Easier, as book royalties bring in much more money than we have any need for. I remain a person of reasonably simple pleasures: I care little for clothes or cars. If a fire destroyed such possessions, my self would be intact. But take away my family, my closest friends, my work, my faith, and youwoulddestroy my sense of self. For it is in my human connections—through my close relationships and my writing and teaching—and in my spiritual connection with God that I know who and why I am. Still, it’s...

  6. 3 Communication
    (pp. 51-70)

    A week ago, I was interviewed as Robert Schuller’s guest at California’s Crystal Cathedral, a worship service currently broadcast to twenty-three countries in Europe and around the globe via satellite. (More anxiety-producing for me than the viewing millions was my awareness that some people I know, including my family, would be in the television audience.) Should I wear my hearing aid or not?

    I decided not to, partly because I was confident that, standing two feet from someone who was projecting to the 2,000 people in front of him, I’d have no trouble hearing—why not flow with the natural...

  7. 4 Support
    (pp. 71-82)

    I have just corresponded with, and joined, Self Help for Hard of Hearing People (SHHH,, a national organization offering resources and support to “people with hearing loss.” (The editor of SHHH publications writes that they use this term out of respect for those within deaf culture who take offense at the implication that the deaf have an impairment.) The organization offers what looks to be a wonderful smorgasbord of lowcost publications dealing with hearing loss, its emotional consequences, communication devices, and the education of children with hearing loss.

    An acquaintance—a pastor in her late forties—called the...

  8. 5 Aids and Advice
    (pp. 83-112)

    The TTY experiment has ended, in failure. “I thought it would be a great idea,” said Dad on his most recent tape. “But if she doesn’t want to talk to people, I guess I shouldn’t make her.” After nine years of not conversing, and at eighty-five, she finds new ways of communicating hard to cope with. “I am still learning,” said Michelangelo at eighty-five. But Michelangelo wasn’t learning a new way of relating to people.

    Not hearing can be embarrassing. This weekend, I began my participation in a White House character education conference with a sex education task force meeting....

  9. 6 Understanding Hearing and Its Loss
    (pp. 113-144)

    I revisited my audiologist today to have a retest and discuss the emerging digital hearing-aid technology. Both ears have worsened a bit, and the hearing in my “good” right ear, he told me afterward, is now what it was in my “bad” left ear several years ago. I infer that I am still following Mother’s lead. The doctor and I agree that I will be a customer for a new digital aid that becomes available in early 1999.

    The tests given by my audiologist fascinate me. The audiogram (Figure 6.1) illustrates the data generated by a typical testing session. You...

  10. 7 Technology and Hearing Loss: Exciting Developments
    (pp. 145-190)

    To prepare myself for the transition to the new generation of hearing aids, I’ve been surfing the Web and reading all I can about hearing aids. The basic theme is the same: all aids include a microphone, an amplifier, a speaker, and a battery. But they differ greatly, I’ve learned, in size, technology, and price.

    Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) aids, such as Bill Clinton has chosen, are the smallest and least visible, yet they pack enough power for a wearer whose audiogram reveals a mild to moderately severe hearing loss.

    In-the-canal (ITC) aids are also small, though they protrude slightly from the...

  11. Epilogue
    (pp. 191-194)

    As we enter the new millennium, we are, more than usual, contemplating the future. InThe American Paradox: Spiritual Hunger in an Age of Plenty,I reflected on our culture’s recent past and envisioned its future. Now I do so for my own.

    As Carol and I look at our lengthening past and shortening future, as we observe our own aging and the aging and death of our parents, we reflect on the sadness of the inevitable life cycle. We are born. We live—slowly, at first, it seems, then more rapidly, at least when we look back on it—...

  12. Appendix: Resources for the Hard of Hearing
    (pp. 195-204)
  13. Index
    (pp. 205-211)