Several years ago I discovered I had a hearing loss. How?

I needed a louder TV volume than everyone else.

I was constantly saying, “Huh?” in a crowd, everybody, except for me, was laughing because of a humorous comment.

It wasn’t easy succumbing to the need of assistance in my hearing ability. After all, hearing aids were for “old people.”

I always had an adverse reaction to seeing someone my age with two hearing aids. “What’s wrong with them?”

They couldn’t hear well without them.

They weren’t deviants; they just needed some assistance in hearing.

In the end, I was, and still am, happy I started wearing my aids.

I think you folks with hearing aids, and you who need them, will connect with these few lines.

The major cause of hearing loss—

I have to believe it’s noise.

The louder and louder our world has gotten,

The more our hearing has been destroyed.

So many of our youth do themselves harm

With those things they stick into their ears.

They don’t worry about the hearing loss,

That will come in their later years.

Then they’ll realize it’s not much fun,

Missing out on what folks say,

And they’re the only ones not laughing.

That’s the price they’ll have to pay.

I am speaking from experience.

I now wear two hearing aids.

Tinnitus is the music I constantly hear;

It’s been that way for decades.

Before my aids, I heard so often,

“Turn the TV down!”

It was at a comfortable level for me;

I hadn’t noticed my sweet wife’s frown.

Before my aids, I’d gotten good

At making people think I’d heard what they said—

The right expression, an appropriate chuckle,

The nodding of my head.

But later would come the embarrassment,

The inevitable faux pas,

When what I said didn’t connect.

I didn’t hear it right was the cause.

So why do I write about hearing loss?

It’s because I have to say,

If you need hearing aids, get ‘em;

And you kids, you’ll need them one day.

John Pryor is a C.E. Donart High School graduate. He can be reached at p29jpryor@

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