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).
If you like our information and have found it helpful, why not become a member. As well as supporting our work, you’ll receive a quarterly update, reminders about our events, and member discounts. Go to membership.