Thursday, July 06, 2006

Is it a side effect or just plain old age?

At a few recent events, especially those that were held in large rooms such as auditoriums and cathedrals, I had a heck of a time hearing anything at all. At the memorial service for donors and donor families at St. Michaels Cathedral in Toronto June 9th I couldn't understand a word the speakers were saying. Last week, at a support group meeting at Toronto General Hospital, I couldn't make out what someone sitting nearby was saying nor could I understand a question from the back of the room.

This problem has been creeping up on me for a couple of years and I first noticed it during my year-long course of high-dose gabapentin for treating postherpetic neuralgia following shingles. Hearing loss is a reported side effect of gabapentin but is my situation really a side effect of the drug or is it just a coincidental result of aging? I guess I'll never know for sure.

So, after the embarassment of not understanding some speakers and remarks from the audience last week I picked up the phone the next morning to arrange a hearing test.

My worst fears were confirmed; I need hearing aids for both ears. They are now ordered and being custom made to fit my ear canals.

Stay tuned. I'm looking forward to getting my hearing back very soon.

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