What's that in your ear?

By Cora Bishoppetty
On September 13, 2019

Cora Bishoppetty, photographer

What’s that in your ear?

One may think “Who would ask that? Why would you ask that?” It’s almost like Dr. Seuss’ book “Are You My Mother?” You may think that’s a peculiar question to ask, but, believe it or not, I have been asked on a regular basis, “What’s that in your ear?”

There are many different things that could lead to that question. Perhaps I was wearing some earrings? Sadly, earrings are too mundane for someone to ask what is in my ear.

Could it be headphones? That’s a very good guess. However, regular headphones don’t necessarily work for me. At this point, you may be thinking, “Now she’s just yanking my chain. What else could possibly be in her ear?”

Believe it or not, it’s a hearing aid.

A hearing aid?! “Oh, snap. Did I offend her?” may be your thought process. Alas, no need to panic. Curiosity leads to greater knowledge. I would rather you ask me what’s in my ear than for you to continue not knowing.

I know it is not as common to see a young, deaf person wandering around with vibrant blue hearing aids worn without a care. That’s just the deaf pride speaking. Do you want to know the scoop from deaf person to hearing person?

I’m just like you. I just have something in my ear. Pretty fancy, huh? However, my brain has to work twice as hard to process and comprehend the sounds that my ears take in. I can hear certain frequencies, think pitch, better than others. The frequencies are measured in hertz. Also, the decibel level, think volume, is important.

You may be thinking, “Okay, that’s too much scientific terminology.” I understand. I’m not much of a science person, either. No need to fret, though. What you need to know is that my hearing aids are programmed to compensate for my level of hearing loss. I still may need to ask you to repeat yourself or I might say “What?” on occasion. I would prefer that we talk face-to-face, but, I promise you, the things in my ears are working.

Now, I must ask you this, to spice it up, “What’s in your ear?”

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