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To Silence And Back (II).

By Lynee Schlumpf.
Copyright 2000 - 2003, Route 66 Cyber Cafe, Inc.


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This job also required me to be exposed to other loud noises like power units and air units for very long periods of time at once. We often worked 12 hours or more at a stretch, and this would leave you with noise sickness, whether you wore ear protection or not (which I always did).

Time went by, and I started noticing something that did not alarm me right away. I started turning the television up a little more every year, and I started saying "Huh?" a lot more often. Certain people began to be on my list of people to avoid at all costs. I secretly compiled lists of people with voices in those middle ranges that I could almost never hear. I also secretly compiled another list of those people who acted irritated if they had to repeat themselves. If you are close to a hearing impaired person who has gone deaf slowly over the years, you will probably see them go through this ritual if their hearing problems bother them at all.

When I got ready to retire from the Air Force, they performed another hearing test on me and found the hearing in my left ear was severely impaired and the right ear was quickly catching up. The tests showed that whenever I was trying to listen to people who spoke in the middle ranges, I was having great difficulty. I noticed that I could hear a lot of people who spoke in very high or very low ranges.

This test confirmed what I was beginning to suspect. Closed captions became very important to me when watching movies or television, and I became even more aware of those people around me who did not speak very loudly.




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