I have had Ménière's disease with balance, auditory and visual challenges for the last 15 years. The affected ear has only 1% hearing and no word recognition.
Noise is one of my biggest challenges. Large groups, restaurants, meetings, etc. cause nausea, dizziness and balance problems.
I discussed this with a close friend who has severe hearing impairment and he had some valuable suggestions. One was earplugs that musicians wear which reduce noise by 15 decibels. I now use one of these in my normal ear. It reduces the background noise in the room, which allows me to carry on a normal conversation. In my damaged ear, in which I get a screeching sound caused by music and female voices, I have a noise-eliminating earplug.
I carry these with me at all times and insert them when necessary. I can now enjoy concerts and opera. And large groups are much more tolerable, although I do have to move into a quiet area for a break at times.
With these earplugs I am able to live an almost normal life.
I also want to say thank you to BC Balance and Dizziness for introducing me to vestibular exercises. I found a physiotherapist trained in these exercises in my town and I use the exercises regularly to control my balance issues. They really work! - Nickola, Ottawa, Ontario
For more information on auditory devices visit the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (WIDHH).
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