We had just been seated in a local restaurant when my two friends asked the waitress if she had any reading glasses. “Oh of course, people often leave them here, I’ll be right back.” She returned with three pairs and I commented, “I don’t need those things.” She looked blankly at my graying hair and walked off. These two friends are older than me, and I rarely miss any opportunity to rub in that fact.
So just for fun I slipped on a pair and looked at the menu. WOW! Maybe it’s NOT the lighting in here! Even though I could read the menu before, it was now much clearer and easier to see. How could it be, that being in the business of improving hearing, I could not recognize when my eyesight was slipping? There have been many clues: my reading light seemed to be softer and I could only read a few pages or maybe even sentences before my eyes became tired and heavy. The serial numbers on hearing aids are no longer visible, but they are smaller, right?!
So after this eye-opening experience I became more attentive to how well I could see small print and how low-level lighting affected what I could see. While shopping in a drug store I noticed a reading-glasses end cap with the different power-level charts. And I could read all the letters without any glasses on! But after several months of straining while reading I submitted to the fact I need a little help with my eyes; time for an eye exam and readers. It’s kind of a pain, but I love having them because it’s so much easier to read now!
Hearing loss is much the same way, we don’t really notice it at first. One of the biggest differences between sight loss and hearing loss is who it affects. When we don’t see, it affects us. When we don’t hear, it usually affects family and friends first. We get glasses for ourselves and hearing aids for others.
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