Hi, I’m Carly. Four years ago when I was 34, I lost the hearing in my left ear. I wasn’t ill at the time and I had never had any problems with my ears. It was a normal day until all of a sudden, my head filled with pressure and a loud screeching sound, and in that moment, the hearing in my left ear disappeared.
At the time of my hearing loss, I was living in Spain with my partner, and working as an Early Years teacher. My hearing loss came as a shock; I didn’t know there was such a thing as sudden hearing loss until it happened to me. I didn’t know that sudden hearing loss is an emergency and that it should be treated as soon as possible. I didn’t know where to find help or information.
I initially found it difficult to explain to others the new sensations I was experiencing—distorted sounds, tinnitus, sound sensitivity, and feelings of dizziness and imbalance. Losing the hearing in my left ear meant I lost so much more than just half my hearing. Not only was I struggling to deal with the practical challenges of living with a reduced sense of hearing, but I was also overwhelmed by the emotional aspects of hearing loss such as feelings of isolation and the need to grieve the sound I had lost.
In December 2016, I started my blog, My Hearing Loss Story as a way of sharing my story with others. Through my blog, I connected with people all over the world who had been affected by sudden hearing loss. People wanted to talk about their experiences of sudden hearing loss and were seeking advice about living with hearing loss, different treatments options, and how to deal with associated issues such as tinnitus and hearing loss grief.
In November 2019, I created an online support group for people with hearing loss to share their stories, ask questions, and offer support and advice to others. I began to realise how much value there is in communicating with others living similar experiences—through sharing our stories we were learning from each other and were no longer alone in the experience.
Learning to live with hearing loss has taken time and support. There is still relatively little known about sudden hearing loss which makes it difficult to know where to find information and support.
My New Project—Please Help!
I am now working on a new project—developing a website dedicated to supporting people with sudden hearing loss. This website will offer information, support and advice to anyone who has been affected by sudden hearing loss.
In order to fund the initial start-up and running costs for the website, I have created a GoFundMe page. Through crowdfunding, I hope to raise enough money to pay for the first year of a plan for a professional website and the initial start-up and running costs. The crowdfunding page will be active until Monday 15th February.
All funds within the target amount of £400 will go towards the creation and development of the website. Any excess funds (if there are any!) will be divided equally between the following charities: the British Tinnitus Association (BTA), Hearing Link, the Ménière’s Society, and the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), who have all provided me with support in dealing with my hearing loss.
A link to the Crowdfunding page can be found here.
Suddenly losing your hearing can be really scary. Please make a small donation—whatever you can afford—to help those affected by sudden hearing loss, find the information, advice and support to deal with this loss.
Thank you so much,