Hearing Me – A Documentary for the BBC World Service – Now Available to Listen to!

BBC World Service

It’s been two and a half years since I suddenly lost the hearing in my left ear, and today I am celebrating all I’ve achieved since my hearing loss.  Thanks to the BBC World Service, I am very happy to share this glimpse into my life without full sound.

Hearing Me is now live to listen to! Please note, a transcript is also available through the same link – just scroll down the page to download:


Another big thank you to Chelsea Dickenson (Audio Always) who spent 4 days following me around Madrid with a microphone, and who showed me just how much energy and attention goes into making a radio documentary.

Please take a few minutes to listen and share. Thank you 🙂



Please help to fuel my writing by buying me a cup of tea 🙂



  1. Greetings from California! I listened to this documentary during my commute to work this morning. You and I have single sided sensorineural hearing loss in common. I’m seven years into mine, I’m 43 years old.

    I don’t know if my story is the norm or the exception but things have gotten easier/better for me as time has passed. I hope it works that way for you.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hello Erin and thank you for your comment,
      You are right, with time I am getting used to not being able to localize sounds etc. In fact, the single-sided deafness is the aspect of my hearing loss which I feel I cope with the best. For me, it is the associated feeling of pressure I feel in my ear which is the symptom I find the most difficult to manage. Do you get this too?
      Thanks again for the positive comment – it’s always great to share stories with other people who have had similar experiences 🙂
      Best wishes


      1. It’s possible I do, but I might perceive it a bit differently than you.

        Ever since I lost hearing my right ear has felt as if it’s stuffed with cotton, though of course I know it’s not. It’s not exactly a “pressured” feeling, like the feeling we can get with altitude changes, but more like my ear feels “full”. It’s not exactly painful for me, but it was definitely a different sensation than my normal ear and it bothered me quite a bit during my first year. Like a lot of it, I eventually got used to the feeling.

        One thing that I have assumed is that my feeling of fullness was how I perceived the loss of hearing, and not exactly a change physical pressure ear. It’s a bit hard to explain, but here goes…

        Can hear –> Ear “feels” empty
        Hearing loss –> Ear “feels” full

        Right or wrong, I have always attributed the full vs. empty feelings to the sense of sound instead of the sense of touch (via skin). Your experience with a painful pressure has me rethinking that.

        I’m not sure if I’m helping…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hello again Erin,
          it’s interesting how we perceive the hearing loss isn’t it?! It’s also difficult to explain.

          Reading your description of the ‘full’ and ’empty’ feelings – I can relate to these. When I am in a quiet place and relaxed and not tired I have the ‘full’ feeling. When I go outside or am around noise, people, bad weather, or am feeling tired this fullness changes to pressure – like fullness is the ‘base’ feeling, and when I’m around any stimuli it changes to pressure. My ‘hearing’ ear, like you described, usually feels ’empty’.

          Thanks for the interesting discussion Erin,
          Best wishes


  2. I also listened to your story this afternoon dear Carly. Wow, your tinnitus is completely different to mine. I never realised how severe yours is. I have a single high frequency tone which I only notice when thinking about it or when a noise is close to that frequency. I know that mine was caused by days of shooting weapons in Aden when the British Army pulled out of Yemen in the late 1960’s. No ear defenders in those days. Anyway, your story was really interesting and I do hope that a cure is found for you my friend. Love Ralph and Natascha xx ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Ralph,
      Thank you for listening to the documentary 🙂 It’s interesting to read/hear about different people’s tinnitus – Everyone has different sounds they hear. I’m sorry you have it too Ralph, though I’m glad that you are able to manage it well.
      Lots of love to you and Natascha x<3

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow Carly, this is wonderful, and so moving.
    Your blog has taught me a lot about a different kind of hearing loss to my own and this programme really adds to that. I think people who can hear make erroneous assumptions about what hearing loss is like (everything is quiet, for instance, when it isn’t) and I would have made erroneous assumptions about what it’s like to be deaf in one ear rather than two. So I’ve learnt a lot.
    I really like what you say about taking time to appreciate what we can still do. And it’s not just hearing is it? We zoom through life barely noticing all the things that we would be devastated by if we suddenly lost them.
    Thanks Carly. A great programme.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Vera,
      Thank you for listening and for the wonderful comment 🙂 I think you are completely right about ‘hearing’ people assuming that having a hearing loss means that everything is suddenly quiet. In fact, this is exactly what I would have assumed before I had my hearing loss.
      I have learned a lot from you too, about your hearing loss, and I find it interesting to read other people’s stories – especially positive success stories like yours 🙂
      I really hope that after listening to the documentary, people will pause a little more to take notice of the sounds around them. As you said, it’s not just sound, it’s all of our senses, abilities, and the people who are close to us.
      I’m so glad you liked the recording Vera 🙂
      Hoping you are well and enjoying the heat wave in Yorkshire!
      Best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That was awesome, Carly! A heart-rending story well-told. It’s reaching out like this that will help to put this affliction on the map where it belongs. Society needs to accept that there are very large numbers of people in this world with hearing impairment.

    On another note, it was wonderful hearing your beautiful voice! When only having corresponded with someone over the years, to finally hear them speak is thrilling. I would never guess you are from England (he, he, he). The only thing that will top this is finally getting to meet you. Hopefully…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello there Al,
      Thank you so much for listening and for the lovely comment 🙂 I hope people will listen to the documentary and gain some understanding about hearing loss, and related issues.
      I’m blushing at the ‘beautiful voice’ comment! It is funny though because many people communicate through blogs, emails etc, and never get to hear the voices of the people they are connecting with.
      I’m hoping to meet you too – then I can hear your voice as well 🙂
      Best of wishes

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Don't Eat It! Soap and Skin Care and commented:
    I have been following Carly’s blog with great interest for some time now. Like Carly, I too have been living with hearing loss. My hearing loss is similar to Carly’s in that it is only effects my left ear and that the tinnitus (ringing, buzzing, humming noise) is always present.
    In her most recent post Carly talks about her experience living with sudden hearing loss and I can really identify with her experience. I hope you will take some time to listen and perhaps gain some understanding for what it’s like to not have full hearing as well as some appreciation for being able to hear.


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