Me and my own hearing loss

To some extent, I have all of the hearing problems considered on this website.

In particular, due to an only partially successful ear operation1, I also have an extreme sensitivity to certain sounds, even when their loudness is hardly significant to people with normal hearing. For example, if a fire alarm or fire engine suddenly starts its siren near me, and I am caught unawares, I literally collapse instantly, shaking and with tears streaming down my face. This sensitivity is my greatest problem: I go nowhere without ear protection.

The problem was compounded for many years because, although I tried hearing aids (both private and NHS), my pain threshold was so close to any improved hearing threshold that the aids were effectively impossible to use. Occasionally I used a hearing aid in my non-operated ear for a few minutes in crucial situations, but I soon felt the tears welling up behind my eyes and I was in so much pain and so exhausted that I had to give up.

In recent years, though, medical expertise has been able to help me. When I collapsed and went into shock when an NHS audiologist tried me out on a sound which he said wasn't at all loud, he took me seriously. My experience since then has enabled me to write the pages on hearing aids. There is more to write on my treatment which I intend to do when time permits.

Although my deafness certainly has hampered what I have been able to do in the mainstream hearing world, the strategies outlined on this website have enabled me to fulfil my professional aspirations in my chosen professional field2. I also run six websites3.

Please note that I have no medical training whatsoever; that this website is based on my personal experience and is not trying to sell or promote anything commercially.

Professor Pat Cryer, BSc, PhD, FSEDA
(NOT medical qualifications!)


1. The operation was a stapedectomy for the condition of otosclerosis, and it consisted of replacing a bone behind the ear drum. Apparently the passages inside my ear were so small that they had to be enlarged by grinding bone away (possibly, I suspect, leaving some debris behind) and a new ear drum had to be grafted in place.

2. My career has been in universities, supporting postgraduate research students (PhD students) and their supervisors - see my outline cv.

3. My Postgraduate Resources website reflects my professional experience which I also use to research and document genealogy: my mother's Cole potteries line and her recollections of life in the 1900s, my father's Fisher line, my husband's Cryer line.

Disclaimer: The information on this site is for a lay audience and I cannot be responsible for errors or omissions. The views, strategies, advice and suggestions etc are based on my personal experience and are not necessarily appropriate for anyone else. They should, hopefully, stimulate individuals to develop their own strategies.