LB shares half my genes, and one of those happens to be a mild-to-moderate hearing loss.
Ours is kindly called "the cookie bite" loss, because our audiograph dips in the middle, like a little valley. This means we have a harder time hearing in the mid-tones, especially the "b" "d" "v" "n" sounds. Men's voices are especially hard for me to hear without hearing aids.
The most common hearing loss is to suffer a hearing drop-off in the high frequencies.
A lot of combat veterans and rock concert goers have this kind. This also explains how so many old men can tune out their higher-pitched wives' nagging ;)
I first got hearing aids about 2 years before LB was born. At first it was so hard to want to wear them. They sounded...electronic.
It was like wearing iPod earbuds in my ears, and having to listen to my life's soundtrack through them. Except there often wasn't music playing. And everything was slightly too loud. (Still is too loud. :Sigh:)
No matter what kind of speakers you have, you're still listening to everything through a speaker and not the original source, which almost always sounds better.
Life sounded loud and canny. Music still sounds horrible. My own voice was amplified too, and I would cringe when hearing myself sing to LB (I still do cringe. And I still sing anyways).
And then there were issues with feedback, which is the high-pitched electronic whine you sometimes hear from a microphone/speaker. Only it was buzzing right in my ear. Ugh.
And don't get me started on the annoying background noises that the rest of society was blissfully unconscious of that are now part of my life soundtrack when I have my "ears" in.
I had been going thru life with my poor hearing, unaware of all that I was missing. My poor brain had done a ton of filling-in-the-gaps work during conversations, it was amazing to me how much I had missed.
There was the not-so-good stuff:
When the refrigerator turns on (still sounds like there is an idling Mack truck in the kitchen); The amplified beep of a truck backing up; Being able to hear the freeway from our backyard, ugh.
But, there are so many more good things :)
Such as when DH askes a question from another part of the house, I can hear it perfectly and answer back in a normal voice, knowing he can hear me too; Hearing Little Buddy whisper words he's trying to correctly sound out; Being part of group conversations and hearing what everyone is saying; not being afraid of being a student again :)
Because of all those things, I continued to forge on with wearing the hearing aids. I wear them 75% of the time. If I'm at home alone during the day, then I don't wear them. I'd much rather listen to Pandora radio au naturale audio :) and I definitely don't need to hear the refrigerator! :P But I do wear them when outside my house. I like being in-tune with my surroundings.
I'm so happy that Little Buddy wears hearing aids and is able to hear everything that is going on. He also goes to an audio-verbal hearing loss preschool 4 days a week. They are an awesome nonprofit group who have been a great resource since LB was an infant.
Oh, the things he'll learn! I'm excited for his future :)