Today I had an appointment at Boots Opticians and hearing shop. I wanted to have my hearing checked because I had an idea that my hearing was a little worse than about 6 years ago when my hearing was checked.
Turns out that it is mainly age related, my left ear having less sound range than the right, so no great problems, not enough for intervention with an aid of any sort.
Interestingly she talked about the way that Alzheimer’s affects the way that hearing is processed. Imagine a room full of people talking, along with other sounds, and trying to focus on only one person in the middle of the room talking to you…very difficult. That can be what it is like for someone with Alzheimer’s trying to hear normally. I do experience this even in a quiet room, I am spoken to but I might be on the internet, or reading and somehow do not hear what has been said. So I have to say ‘sorry what did you say?’ over and over. Irritating or what!
So my focus of attention needs to be on only one thing to process what is being said. This is important for me and others around me to understand because when I am thinking; I have not heard, it may be that I have not processed what has been said.
She said I need to use change of behaviour to help any hearing problems, such as sitting with my back towards a wall in a restaurant so that I have no noise behind me. Facing people straight on when we talk so that my focus is on their voice – easier said than done when I have difficulties in maintaining eye contact!
All in all I am pleased that my hearing has not got worse, and interested to learn how my Alzheimer’s has an impact on how I process sound.