Hearing Loss and Music – The Challenge!

As my hearing loss changed over time, I noticed the decline in my ability to hear music. Even with the use of hearing aids, it was taking longer to recognize a melody. Like many, I love a variety of music: classical, jazz, tunes from the fifties, sixties, and seventies. The songs I grew up hearing are among my favorites and, despite my hearing loss, I do not wish to be without music in my life.

I asked my audiologist’s advice about hearing music. He explained that, as my hearing continues to decline, I will lose all ability to hear high-pitched sounds. This will create problems with my ability to hear music. Over time, the music, like the spoken words, will sound more garbled and much of what I hear would be by recognizing a melody or lyrics from memory. Ironically, my memory of melody could diminish over time, as well. As with others dealing with hearing loss like myself, the combined effort between hearing aids and the use of my memory requires more time to recognize a song or notes, like from a symphony. So, despite my best efforts, I was no longer hear music as I once did.

It was not the best news to hear about my reduced ability to hear music. Who would be pleased to learn they could no longer hear something they appreciated and loved so dearly? I am not alone on this journey through hearing loss. Anyone with hearing loss in the severe or profound range has a reduced, or inability, to hear musical notes. As it is with all hearing loss problems, there are those who recognize the issue and work to do something about, while others may not. Music is like a universal language that can touch the soul and, as a music lover, I wanted options. My audiologist encouraged me to keep listening to music as much as possible and to continue to exercise my mind to remain tuned to the sounds associated with music.

When fitted with my hearing aid, my audiologist suggested working with the music setting. This setting is programmed in on my iPhone app and easily accessible. He cautioned, given my profound loss, the results may not be all that great, but it was worth a shot. Recently, I attended several concerts and used my program to hear the music. It felt as if a miracle had occurred. Despite my hearing loss, and thanks to my hearing aids and iPhone app, I was able to hear the music! During the classical music concert, I heard symphonies by Bach and Ravel clearly. This led to me and my husband to attend additional concerts, where I continued to recognize and hear the music. Today, my husband and I are once again able to share our mutual love of music, together.

It has become very important to keep my ears tuned by playing music at home, as well. My husband downloaded all our old CDs onto his computer and came up with playlists, ordered according to genre. Depending on our mood, we choose what to listen to for the day: Beatles, Diana Ross, Bob Seger, Beethoven and Chopin.

My audiologist firmly believes in working every day to practice hearing. He encourages me to tune into life even when it’s difficult or when I don’t hear everything. He firmly believes the more I train my brain to hear, the better hearing I will have. I believe in his wisdom. With my new hearing aids and hard work, I can and will continue to enjoy the music I so love.