People Born Deaf That Later Had It Restored Reveal The Sounds That Surprised Them Most
It's the gift we never knew we were given.
Hearing is an act, like breathing, we don't think about too much. That is, until the day comes when we can no longer hear. Maybe old age, or maybe an injury, can lead to people losing what they never considered. Some of us, though, are born without hearing. They're born deaf and grow up wondering what the world sounds like. Thanks to advancements in medicine, many people are having their hearing restored, and what they end up hearing may not be what they thought it sounded like. Many of these people were asked about this in response to Reddit user, u/linkman0596, who asked:
Redditors who were born deaf but had your hearing restored, what sounds nothing like what you expected?
When Going To The Loo Is A Challenge
I was born deaf in my left ear and about 40% hearing in my right. I wear a hearing aid that is inside my right ear. I think the biggest thing for me was hearing the toilet flush. It was so loud that I simply couldn't believe it. Most people say they'd never notice I was hard of hearing because I interact just like any other person.
Coke. Who Knew?
I wasn't completely deaf. It took me several surgeries to get to the almost normal hearing level that I have now. I remember how I got home from the doctor who just removed all the bandages etc from my ear and I had dinner.
I was drinking cola and searched for 5 minutes where this weird sparkling sound comes from. Apparently cola bubbles make sounds. Never imagined that.
Those LOUD Bees
I was born deaf, and got hearing aids at 6.
Honestly ? The bees. You can't describe them or imagine them till you have heard them all buzzing with pollen in Sicily's summer.
Also, the old 56k modem screech and my nonna screaming over it to get it faster (never worked obviously). I thought it would be more melodious, bizarrely.
Yeah Dude, Cicadas Are The Worst
I wasn't deaf but I only started wearing aids at about 20. I had no idea cicadas made noises.
They are f-cking awful I had no idea
First Time Tweeting
My nephew couldn't hear well. We thought he was just delayed in speech. Once he finally got his ears fixed (I don't remember what all they did).. he was sitting in the living room a couple days after he got them fixed and was so astounded by a certain noise from outside.
Turns out the sound of the birds in the tree near the window is what he was hearing...
He had no idea what birds sounded like.
Our Flag Is Loud
Something I can finally contribute funny to!
Born half deaf (left ear complete deafness) and low range on right ear.
First time I got hearing aids, I remember coming out of the clinic, and I hear this metal hitting and I'm like WTF!!!! But then I look around, and it's the godd-mn flag pole hitting metal to metal during wind.
I start crying. Like hearing overload.
I get into my car, put my flicker on, ITS SO LOUD!!!!!
Despite all this; grateful for technology to rectify my hearing difficulties.
Karen, That's Some Loud Silverware
I was born like at least 70% deaf. I got hearing aids when I was about 6. I never heard birds chirping, bugs buzzing, or silverware clinking. It was very distracting and overwhelming to the point of headaches. I only wore them at school.
I don't wear them anymore. Deafness is very isolating, and sometimes it's nice to shut the world out. Plus all blu rays and tv shows have subtitles. I do fine.
Not born deaf, but I lost my hearing a few months before I turned 2, so I don't remember sound at all. I got cochlear implants when I was 19. Things that surprised me:
- Toilets. Holy mother of God. The first time I flushed one, it was a good thing I'd just pooped or I'd have sh-t my pants. It's like the f-cking whirlpool in that Pirates of the Caribbean movie, ready to devour all of existence.
- Eating is f-cking loud. Holy sh-t. Bang, clang, screech, clatter, smacking, so on...
- ...People laughing. Not what I expected. I don't know how to describe it.
Avoid Wal-Marts Like The Plague
I wasn't born deaf but I lost a significant amount of hearing in my right ear (AT-4 rockets are super loud) I didn't realize how bad my hearing was until I was driving and had the window cracked. My daughter was behind me and talking and I didn't hear a word. I went to the VA and got my hearing checked and ended up getting a hearing aid.
I wore it out of the VA hospital and was overwhelmed by the amount of things I could hear: a guy tapping his ring on his cane, EVERYONES conversation, birds were way louder, it was amazing. Then I went to a Walmart and almost had a panic attack because of how much I could hear going on around me. Now I only wear my hearing aid when I go to class.
I can't handle it otherwise.
A Learned Speech Impediment
I was born hard of hearing (apparently some hairs in my inner ear didn't grow right). They didn't find out until I was 5 years old in school, and I got hearing aids and put in a speech class. I had to learn the R sound (I pronounced it like W), the L sound (I pronounced it similar to a W), the Z sound (I pronounced it like SH), the S sound (I pronounced it like SH), and of course differentiating the CH/SH sounds.
Apparently I had learned a lot of sounds wrong, which is why basically only my sister could really understand what I was saying most of the time.
was 4yo when she first got super powered hearing aids (nowadays in Australia they do hearing checks on babies as standard, but she was born before this was normal). The first time she ever encountered bees after getting her hearing aids she said " they're talking!" Apparently the sound of bees buzzing is exactly the same as what normal conversation sounded like before she got hearing aids.
Also important to note, this didn't happen til she was like 6 or 7. She hadn't learned to speak by the age of 3.5yrs and seemed to "ignore" or "not engage" with people, which is when testing revealed she was deaf.
How Do You People With Two Ears Do It?
I was born with only a left ear, I'm completely deaf on the right side. I've always understood what stereo sound was, and I thought I could imagine it too. Boy, was I wrong.
I got a BAHA on the right side when I was ten and my world literally changed. It took me a few weeks to realize what was going on, noises coming from everywhere was very disorientating. It took me a few months before I could localize sounds without thinking. It took me a few years before I started having dreams in stereo sound too.
Honestly, it's exhausting and I don't know how you guys do it, listening to things with two ears 24/7. Most weekends, when I don't really leave the house, I don't even put my hearing aids in. It's too much sound, and too difficult to process. The only thing that was absolutely a 100% improvement was music. Listening to stereo music, while being used to mono sound is like discovering a full rainbow of new colors.
Cooling At High Volume
My loss was discovered in kindergarten and Ive had aids since then.
The first thing that caught me off guard is air conditioning. Its white noise for everyone else--but when you hear it for the first time, its strange to think about how loud it is. White noise is every where.
I Fear The Clocks Grow Louder
I was with my grandfather the day after he got his hearing aids. He started complaining that he could hear me 'stomp' my feet on the carpet (he was never able to hear normal footsteps/scuffles) and he took the battery out of his clock because he couldn't stand the ticking sound.
He also didn't know that cats make noise when they pur.
chatter in public places. absolutely unbearable. i dread being around it. i don't know if i'd feel this way if i'd been born hearing crowds. but hearing them for the first time now, at age 56, it's the worst thing i've ever known.
Just born with really crappy hearing, I'm fairly decent at lip reading, so I got by until about my early 30s, about four years ago.
First thing I noticed was a ticking sound when I got my hearing aids, had no idea wall clocks were audible without placing your ear on them. Other things I can distinctly remember is the birds, holy crap, so many birds, everywhere...
...Ventilation, that one was annoying to get used to. Rain on the roof, I like that one, also nice to know it's raining outside without having to look first. And retail stores are really loud, had no idea there was that much background noise.
I was born completely deaf, got my cochlear implant at 4 and a half...
...-Windows. I didn't realize opening the window made sound. Like I knew the window itself would make a sound, but I didn't realize you could hear the rush of air inside, you know?
Always Cover Your Ears When Tying Your Hair Up
Born with rubbish ears, only got hearing aids in my early twenties. I didn't know hisses and crackles and rustles were supposed to describe sounds I always assumed they described textures or things you could feel. Also bloody hell the shower is loud. Washing dishes is loud. Eating is a straight up cacophony of weird tiny wet noises and slurps and clinks. In large crowded spaces there's this low background roar of undifferentiated noise I never knew existed. Tucking my hair behind my ear for the first time and hearing it rustle was pretty wild.
A Laundry List
Obligatory, I wasn't born deaf but became so at 7 years old. My brother hit me square on the ear with a 2x4 and it ruptured my right drum causing a near total loss in the right ear and 40% loss in my left ear.
I hadn't ever thought about it until I got hearing aids at 23, but I had never heard drum cymbals. Or any higher pitched noises.
For a solid 6 months I was listening to the most drum heavy music I could find.
I finally understand "nails on a chalkboard"
I had no idea my e-cig made such a loud whooshing sound
Hard winds hitting cracks in the door, windows etc
Rain on the roof
My husband mumbling.
The Stuff Nightmares...
I didn't gain the ability to hear until I was around 22. Up until this point, I never understood that farting made a sound...
...Are Made Of
My sister had hearing aids as a kid but her level of hearing increased dramatically when she got a cochlear implant at the age of six.
She was in the kitchen and farted incredibly loudly. With a look of abject horror she turned to my mother and said 'IT MAKES A NOISE!?'