The day I found out I had normal hearing

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My hearing had always been fine up until 5 or 6 years ago when certain snippets of conversation would ‘dip’ in volume. As I’m only in my late 30s, ‘old age’ hearing loss would be a low likelihood for me… right?
To get to the bottom of it, I had a hearing test and this is what happened.

The audiologist, Bernie asked me a series of questions about my history. All seemed normal, I was proud to show her that I was in good health and unlikely to have any hearing problems (even though I had voluntarily come to see her). She checked the inside my ears with two different instruments and confirmed everything looked fine and there was no wax blockage (see! I told you so). Apparently if there is wax or an infection, a conductive hearing loss can occur and is normally reversible.

I was a little unnerved. If I didn’t have the ‘reversible’ type of hearing loss – could I be afflicted with the PERMANENT type of hearing loss? We were about to find out.

For the next part, I was placed in a large booth that was lined with foam. A button had to be pressed each time I heard tones through the headphones I was wearing. I was nervous and I wanted to perform well. Some sounds were easy to detect, others were barely audible.

Another test involved a series of words that I had to repeat out loud. Some were easy, others not. Was it “coat” or “croak?” I took a stab and selected “coat”.

Could getting this word wrong, render me in the ‘permanently deaf’ for life?

Bernie took me out of the booth and told me that I had ‘essentially normal hearing’. She explained my test results and pointed out that my right was slightly lower than my left, but this may have been something I’ve always had since a child. Bernie advised to be re-tested anytime I felt a change. At least now I had something to compare to, if I was to do this again in 12 months time.
The hearing test took all of 40 mins and I instantly wished I had done it earlier to settle all those concerns about my hearing (or lack of).
If you think you have a hearing loss, you may. Or you might not. The only way to be sure, is to get a professional like Bernie to test you. My hearing test was quick and easy…but I’ll never know if it was “coat” or “croak”.

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