Am I deaf?
April 23, 2007 2:01 PM Subscribe
Is it possible to be hard of hearing, without having anything wrong with your ears?
posted by humblepigeon to health & fitness (42 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
All my adult life I've been very slightly deaf. But it's a weird kind of deafness. I can hear a pin drop in a quiet room (as I type this, I can hear the clock ticking in the next room). But put me somewhere with background noise, such as music or people talking, and I just lose the ability to hear anybody more than a metre away. I assumed everybody was like this until I realized colleagues and friends had no problems talking in noisy pubs, or in noisy offices. In comparison, all I hear are snippets of words and lots background noise. In some situations I have an annoying pained expression as I try and understand what people are saying. I also have another annoying habit of turning my left ear toward people when I can't hear them, and sometimes even cupping my hand around my ear. Because I can hear a whisper in a quiet room, I suspect my "deafness" isn't anything to do with my ear's inner workings, but might be psychological—maybe something to do with being unable to process complex sounds? I dunno. Background info: My dad is also slightly deaf, and was once prescribed a hearing aid, which he doesn't wear. And I love peace and quiet, and get easily irritated by noise. I suspect there's an obvious answer here. Help me find it, hive mind!