A Low-Band-Pass Filter on My Ear

I’m losing hearing acuity in my right ear. It’s very odd. I have high-frequency hearing loss, apparently from sort of genetic nerve damage/sickness/failure, and I am really starting to notice it. My dad and his two brothers are both wearing hearing aids, so clearly it runs in the family. With the high-frequency loss, it means that I can hear vowels just fine but have trouble with consonants. I never realized that the frequency of a consonant differed from its surrounding vowels, but that has been my experience.

It’s pretty bothersome to me and to those I live with to try to understand.

The high frequencies are what allow me to discern pitches that are out of tune from those that are in tune. The thought of losing my musical “ear” makes me fearful. I’ve always had a gift for music, and this stupid genetic thing threatens to mute that gift. Of course, if you ponder it logically, I was born with both the gift for music and with the propensity to lose my hearing. If I take the one for granted, it is only reasonable to accept the other.

I always thought going deaf would be like someone just turning down the volume, but it’s really more like someone put a low-band-pass filter on my right ear. I still hear fine at the lower frequencies, but the higher the pitch, the less I hear. Who knew that consonants happen in the upper part of the hearing range? Not me. I still hear pretty well out of the left ear, and I recognize now that I clearly favor it.

Another odd thing – I have zero trouble with music, other than the higher frequencies being muted. It’s not such a problem when the “message” of the music occurs across the entire spectrum, but my trouble hearing consonants makes it much more difficult to understand speech – especially if my good (left) ear is turned away from the speaker.

Anyone else out these dealing with this? What do you do to compensate/fix it/deal with it?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *