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I lost part of my hearing on my fortieth birthday when a firework exploded next to me. Technology was interwoven in my resctions to this. My first response, after it was confirmed that the hearing was ‘gone’, was to take to the web and look for a more hopeful prognosis. I found both what I was and I wasn’t looking for: the answer that I wanted and the answer that I didn’t.
I then started to seek out technological solutions to the hearing loss and became an armchair expert on implants, hearing aids and cochlea stem cell therapy. However, how I recovered from the hyperacusis and the tinnitus which accompanied the loss was to switch off the technology: my research was a panic response which was heightening and sustaining the immediate symptoms of SSHL*. I haven’t – yet – chosen a hearing aid (even though it’s been over three years since the accident). I can hear well in most situations and, for some reason, I want to ‘hold on’ to my natural hearing for the moment and not – yet – accept a technological ‘enhancement’.
*sudden sensorineural hearing loss