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Flynn asked...

Up until the age of about 16 I was registered partially deaf...

Tags: Stress

When I was younger, up until the age of about 16 I was registered partially deaf. I didn't wear a hear aid until I was about 10, and the hearing aid only really helped me in situations with one sound source. In primary school, they noticed I had some difficulty with reading and writing but no action was taken. In high school I performed academically very well, but a lot of this was because of my own ability to do the work, I never really was able to learn from listening to the teacher. I've noticed in recent years since receiving proper hearing that something isn't quite right. I wasn't able to read books for quite some time. And even now, I struggle to comprehend a lot of the stuff I read if it is basic. I really have to think about it and read it multiple times before I can understand it. This has been abundantly clear when doing assessments, some of which require me to read academic papers or just the questions for the assessment/exam, it just requires so much time to comprehend it that I end up not having enough time to actually complete my answer. I'm in university now and I find myself unable to concentrate in lectures because the lecturer is talking about stuff I'm trying to read, which leads to me not taking in the notes - it's gotten to the point where I have given up going to lectures because the only way I can learn seems to be from watching or trying to understand the content myself. It's been incredibly frustrating for me as so much of the course requires me to be listening, eg. on fieldtrips. I also seem to have more trouble than others when it comes to ordinary conversations, I can't seem to form responses or carry on a conversation even though my I have things to say in my head. I know it seems like being overdramatic but in High School I could really rely on teaching myself the content or asking others so I'd have multiple chances to learn. But now I'm in university I don't have the time, or the resources to do that. I was just wondering, if all this stuff can really be an result of childhood hearing problems (I did do some research but I never found anything about people who grew out of their hearing loss), and if so is there anything you can suggest to help me with this all? I don't think I could do 4 years of this.

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The answer

Thank you for your question. We read this with interest, and notice that are attributing current issues with concentration during teaching sessions & lectures, and reading, to a previous issue with your hearing as a child.

After reading your question, we are not sure that this could be due to previous hearing issues (which from what you have said, has resolved).

You mention that you have four years of this, which would possibly mean that you are in your freshman year of University.

You have mentioned your symptoms include difficulty concentrating, reading and processing & retaining information. From what you have described, it would seem that there is a high probability that your symptoms could be caused by an underlying anxiety or stress related disorder, even if you are not feeling particularly “stressed”. With starting University, it can be a heightened time for stress, but these symptoms can be managed by developing coping strategies, such as CPD (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy). The thought processes of dealing with stressful situations and high levels of anxiety are managed more effectively by developing coping strategies to manage these symptoms. CPD is a very effective way for individuals to manage and control their feelings during these times.

It may be suggested to speak to your GP or Student Councilor who may be able to advise you further on how to access CPD and also provide support to you during these times when you are feeling vulnerable. It would also be suggested that a review of your hearing from your GP would be recommended to make sure that there have been no recurring issues with your hearing.

We have included some links below which may help if you would like to read further on the subject.

We do hope that this has been of some assistance to you.

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/studenthealth/Pages/Copingwithstress.aspx

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cognitive-behavioural-therapy/Pages/Introduction.aspx

https://www.nus.org.uk/en/advice/freshers-and-settling-in/top-10-tips-for-freshers/?load=5&top=202

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses