When I was 35, my family started noticing that my hearing was not that great. I had tests done and found out that, effectively, my hearing had dropped.
My right ear was the worst one. I saw an ENT specialist about this issue and was advised I could either start using hearing aids or have a procedure called a stapedectomy. I did not want to go with hearing aids because hearing aids make you stand out. People look at you differently. So I decided to go with the stapedectomy option. I was told it was safe and that most of the time, it worked.
Unfortunately, the procedure did not help me but made the hearing loss worse. I almost lost all my hearing in my right ear and by this point, the hearing aid was not helpful anymore. I finally settled down on a hearing aid in my left year and I got a cochlear implant for my right ear.
I think support from family and friends is crucial. My family members were the ones who initially suggested I had hearing issues. I found it very hard to believe because, as a child, my hearing was great. When it started happening, I was in denial. So I think support from family and friends makes a big difference between someone seeking or not seeking help.
What happened with my procedure was very unfortunate. Sometimes I think if I had had more information or seen another specialist, things would’ve been different. If there is education and information provided to a wider population, then they can relate this information to someone who might be having hearing loss and prompt that person to seek help.