Going to Bed with Hearing Loss

fullsizeoutput_15c1When I take out my two Cochlear implant processors, I let my family know I’m “going deaf. That means that if there’s anything they need to say to me, it needs to be said now while I’m still in the “hearing world.” They also know that they can make as much noise as they want and it wouldn’t bother me but no way can they cook, as the smell will wake me up immediately.

There are so many interesting stories about when we take out our hearing devices. The most common anecdote I’ve heard is from the hearing partners. They say that if they want to say anything while they’re in bed, they first have to turn the light on so their hearing loss partner can lip read.

Those intimate moments have their challenges. Does the person with hearing loss keep in their hearing devices, knowing that there’s a good chance that they’ll fall off or mishear those tender words? Do they take them out and communicate through gestures? You can read more about it on my blog on “Sex and Hearing Loss.”

One friend said: When my husband wants to tell me something important, we have to turn the light on, so I can see him.  I never know when he turns off the TV or radio once my devices are removed.  I cannot hear the alarm in the morning.  If he is away for a day or more, I worry about whether I will actually wake up.  I never know if it was raining hard or storming at night, if neighbors were noisy, or if there were sirens in the neighbood.  The quiet at night has its advantages and disadvantages.

Another friend told a really funny story: A friend took out her CI processors and feel sound asleep in a hotel room when the cleaning crew came into her room. She didn’t react to the noise in the room or to someone speaking to her. They called the manager, because they thought she was dead. A while later she woke up, dressed, and went to the desk downstairs to checkout, much to the surprise of the attendants at the desk.

Composer Richard Einhorn says he was resting in his hotel room before a scheduled meeting, and took out his hearing aids. He didn’t wake up when they called him or knocked on the door, so they broke into his room and woke him. You can imagine everyone’s surprise!

Please “like” and share what happens to you when take out your hearing devices? Scroll to very bottom to leave your comment.

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COMMENTS (click each section to view all comments)


  1. I say “The number you have reached is temporarily disconnected” when I take my hearing aids out. People always smile and seem to understand. When you live alone, having visual and tactile signaling devices for the phone, doorbell and smoke alarm can bring down your anxiety level a lot.

  2. It is imperative that you have those visual and tactile signaling devices when you are alone, especially in a hotel room. I am Deaf so I insist that an ADA kit be installed for my own safety. It’s the law folks. I cannot rest without them and you shouldn’t either! The more people asking for what they need, is a good way of advocating and helping all people with hearing loss. For some reason, people who benefit for Cochlear Implants, often forget they are just as Deaf as I am without them. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Ask for what you need!!

  3. My wife and I have a system. Every night she says good night then removes my CI’s…. but first says, “Lights out!” as she removes them. If for any reason she needs to talk to me when I’m sleeping, I have told her to pinch me… easy at first then increase until I wake up and install my processors.

  4. I tell “Sunshine” , my service dog , I am your responsibility now!!! LOL!
    Advantages of having a dog…..never needs charging!

  5. A murder could be committed and I’d never be called as a witness. I love my silent time. I’m in my own universe.

  6. I just love to take out my CI for bedtime, that’s when everyone’s suppose to be quite and rest up for the next day, I never leave the bedroom area without my CI. I’m such a good lipreader so I can get the gist of stuff, like “the cat is barfing on the floor” in the middle of the night so I can clean it up. BUT I can never take naps on the couch with the CI, or I’d surely will be repulsed by my own snoring. Gross! But I get to hear my cat snoring- so that’s makes everything better.

    • You are making me laugh -“republished by my own snoring”. Love it.

      And if you’re able to lip read in the middle of the night, “the cat is barfing on the floor”, you may have to go on lip reading strike at night!

  7. I can’t wait for the moment when my husband is in a deep enough sleep that I can take them out and crank the volume on the TV!!

    • I love it. Thanks Linda. What you say makes me laugh. And I get it. I love being alone in the house for the same reason – ….!

  8. I don’t need CIs, only HAs. I often sit on my porch, often late at night, usually not wearing my aids. There are a lot of neighborhood kids (I’m sure most are teens and 20s). There is a vacant lot next to my house and next to the house directly across from me, meaning close to a hundred yards away, and with a row of trees in one area. These kids hang out in both lots late at night. These lots are right by a pretty busy street (even at night), so there’s traffic noise. Even without wearing my aids, they are so loud that I can tell these kids are talking. Yes, they are that loud. Luckily I can’t understand them. I’m thinking that they are already HOH. So far there have been no gunshots (which, regrettably, is possible).

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