Author Topic: Hearing and the telephone  (Read 4625 times)


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Hearing and the telephone
« on: July 14, 2009, 05:17:06 am »
I have a question for all of you. When you can no longer use your phone to your left ear, how are you able to talk with the phone to your right ear and be able to write sometime down?
I had my surgery on June 25th. I still have hearing in the surgery side(left). But, I am using my phone on the right side because of healing. This is driving me crazy to begin with. I can't hold the phone to the right ear and try to write anything down down. I know there are devises that you can get to talk handsfree on a regular home phone and was wondering if any of you have used them and what they are?

Diagnosed 1/09 1.6cm left side
5/09 2cm
hearing & balance problems
Surgery Date June 25, 2009 St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Mn
Surgery went great, can still hear!!!!

"This too shall come to pass and life will go on"


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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 05:50:30 am »
I have the same problem....Right handed, phone to left ear until surgery which left me SSD....I've learned to compensate for alot of stuff....I have a phone with a speaker on it but have never used it. I've learned to craddle the phone in my right shoulder and write stuff down...I also tend to use my left hand to hold the phone and write...
14mmX11mmX11mm left ear
TRANSLAB 04/07/09 2cms at time of surgery
Dr. Benoit and Schramm, Ottawa Civic Campus
SSD ,some facial numbness
Baha surgery sept 22/09
residual tumor 13mmX7mmX8mm
2016 new growth.  25mmX21mmX22mm
cyberknife on June 7


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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 05:54:34 am »
I am left-handed,right SSD, so not being able to hear on the phone was my first symptom of AN. I ALWAYS used to put the phone to my right ear so I could write. Now, like Jo, I use speaker whenever I can.

Lisa from Portland, Maine age 46
Diagnosed June 2006
15mm X 17mm AN right side 80% hearing loss
GK March 14,2007 Dr. Noren, Providence RI
1 Year follow-up MRI shows "slight shrinkage".
2 Year follow-up MRI shows "No Change".
3 Year follow-up MRI "stable".
BAHA surgery 4-22-09 BP100 Sept. 2009


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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 06:34:52 am »
Patty -

this is a dilemma that many of us deal with, me included  :(

I'm an accountant, so I used to be able to not only write with my right hand, while I held the phone with my left hand to my left ear,  but use my right hand for my calculator, also.  Not since I became deaf left.

Even though I have a BAHA, and some say they can hold the phone to their BAHA ear, I haven't found that to be the solution for me.

A speaker phone is one solution; a hands-free headset is another.  You may also find that you adapt to the situation in time; some do.

Retrosig 5/31/07 Drs. Battista & Kazan (Hinsdale, Illinois)
Left AN 3.0 cm (1.5 cm @ diagnosis 6 wks prior) SSD. BAHA implant 3/4/08 (Dr. Battista) Divino 6/4/08  BP100 4/2010 BAHA 5 8/2015

I don't actually "make" trouble..just kind of attract it, fine tune it, and apply it in new and exciting ways


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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 08:31:14 am »
Patty .....

Good topic!  I am mostly deaf left and right-handed.  As others have said, I always used to hold the phone to my left ear so I could write/take notes.  Since surgery, I use the speaker phone for shorter calls, in which I know I will need to write something ..... or use my left hand to hold the phone to my right ear.  Never was any good at cradling the phone to my shoulder ...... too long of a neck, I think.   ::)

My biggest problem now is when I talk with my out-of-state sister every week, we tend to get long-winded and my right ear gets very sore with no way to switch ears.  The speaker phone is less than satisfactory for long conversations.

I guess in the grand scheme of things, this maybe isn't a "biggie" but annoying nonetheless.   :-[

Right MVD for trigeminal neuralgia, 1994, Pittsburgh, PA
Left retrosigmoid 2.6 cm AN removal, February, 2008, Duke U
Tumor regrew to 1.3 cm in February, 2011
Translab AN removal, May, 2011 at HEI, Friedman & Schwartz
Oticon Ponto Pro abutment implant at same time; processor added August, 2011

Jim Scott

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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 10:49:43 am »
Patty ~

I'm deaf in my left ear and I'm right-handed.  Hence, I have the same problem most SSD folks have with using the phone and writing.  I (rarely) use the speaker feature due to poor quality on both ends.  I've learned how to hold the phone to my right (hearing) ear with my left hand and write with my right hand.  Of course, unlike Jan and others, I don't need to do this on a regular basis, which makes it practical for me.  In a pinch, I can write left-handed and although it looks like chicken scratch, I can usually read it.  For something brief, like a phone number, I can print with my left hand.  To be honest, the onset of my deafness was very gradual and I probably adjusted just as gradually, making it not only easier but almost imperceptible to me that I was making these adjustments.  I think it's amazing how we can adjust to almost any deficit, including SSD.  Good thing we're adaptable!

4.5 cm AN diagnosed 5/06.  Retrosigmoid surgery 6/06.  Follow-up FSR completed 10/06.  Tumor shrinkage & necrosis noted on last MRI.  Life is good. 

Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the way it is.  The way we cope with it is what makes the difference.


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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2009, 07:44:18 pm »
I also do what Jim does...hold the phone to my right ear using my left hand, so i can write.  I have also kinda-mastered holding the phone to my right ear with my right shoulder and writing at the same time.....much much harder with cell phones, but that is when speaker comes in handy.  My biggest problem is people talking to me in my left ear while I am on the phone, as if I can actually hear them :)
Left side 1.7 cm AN diagnosed 7/30/08
Misdiagnosed for 8 + years
Surgery, Sub-occipital, 11/17/2008 at Indiana University Hospital
Left SSD
Tumor much larger than expected. Facial nerves intact, but had RARE swelling resulting in brachial plexus injury and tracheostomy after surgery.

Joe B

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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2009, 06:22:30 pm »
I have also tried all of the above methods with some success. I think the one that works best for me is holding the phone with the opposite side arm across the body in order to write with my right hand.  I have two land lines at my house as well as cell phones and a couple weeks ago I was on hold on one of the lines and the 2nd line started to ring. This was the first time that this happened since my surgery, so I did what I always had done. I took the phone that was on hold and quickly put it to my left ear so I could answer the other one. I might as well have put it up to my left elbow since it can hear as good as my left ear (SSD side). I also just realized (today- 7 weeks post op) that no matter where the noise, voice, etc. is coming from I always look for it on my right (good) side. I guess I will now be looking in the wrong direction 50% of the time. :-\

« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 06:25:17 pm by Joe B »
2.9 cm AN left side
MRI 5/13/09
Translab 6/04/09 Tampa General Hospital


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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2009, 06:27:56 pm »
I can hear with my left ear, but the volume and quality is better on the right side. So I always use my right ear when on the phone.  My house phone I just jam between my shoulder and chin and hold it that way. The cell I hold with my left hand to my right ear in a somewhat uncomfortable manner. I'm not a big cell user though. So I don't really feel inconvenienced.   
1 cm, 6mm, 4mm on Left side. Surgery performed 11/6/2008 by Dr. Kalmon Post and Eric Smouha at Mt. Sinai Hospital in NYC.
Normal hearing before, 85%-90% now, dizziness when walking or turning head, annoying hissing and high pitched tinnitus on and off, eyes have trouble adjusting to rapid head move


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Re: Hearing and the telephone
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2009, 11:02:45 am »
left ear hearing is very poor now.  i use left hand behind my head to hold the phone.  this leave right hand for writing and the left arm does not block view of the desk.

a bit to get used to  - but works best for me ...
Diagnosed in fall of 2008 with 1.6 * 2.9cm AN on left side. 

Scheduled CK at Oklahoma Cyber Knife in December, 2008 and decided not to proceede on 2nd date that CK was scheduled.  I fired them.

CK performed at St John's Hospital (Tulsa)Jan 2009