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Aunty Bella: Miss. Hard of Hearing



dreamstime_l_50612042Aunty Bella is our  agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers. We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.
Good day Aunty Bella, please forward this to your blog readers and please ladies and gents. I am not really good with words but l will do this anyway.

Since I grew up to know myself, things haven’t been taking a good turn for me.
Just before I was admitted into secondary school I realized I had challenges hearing well. I finished from secondary school  and went further to university and completed my Bsc and God being faithful, nothing held me back.

I won’t really boast of being too intelligent, but this really helped me throughout my academic career as I can read and understand i.e sometimes if I couldn’t hear the salient points the lecturer passed across.
This really affected me to the point that notes being dictated in the class by the lecturer was always difficult for me to flow along with others. This has been going on and it has affected my life psychologically, socially, mentally and emotionally.

As per relationship-wise, I’ve never been in a relationship and I don’t know how being loved feels, as the only one I get is from family. Sometimes a guy or maybe a friend  may approach me and then begins a conversation then along the line I feel lost and then he/ she feels am being snobbish and sometimes I feel really ashamed.

Is there anyone out there who is stuck in this kind of condition because I am really worried and in my early 20s and I fear if this is how my whole life will be?

P.S:  I have a hearing aid but it’s not helping me at all. And please I’m not trying to attract pity-parties, I just want to know if there’s someone out there facing the same plight as I am. Plus I’m due for NYSC service this year. I don’t know how I will cope. Help! Thanks.

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  1. new bride

    February 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    I have a daughter with a hearing impairment and thank God we found out at birth so she’s been wearing her hearing aids since she was 7months old and is functioning very well (except for the times when some evil kids decide to pick on her for wearing aids).

    I will strongly encourage you to go and get tested again and get a new diagnosis for your hearing. Hearing loss sometimes gets worse over the years, so it’s possible that your hearing aids are no longer effective because your hearing has depreciated.

    If you’re in Lagos, the Phonics Hearing Center is a great clinic for testing and diagnosis (you can google for more details). We go to for my daughter’s follow ups, but the few times we’ve had to do stuff in Nigeria, they’ve been fantastic. (please i’m not trying to advertise for them, just sharing my experience, do your research well before deciding).

    I can understand the frustration you’re feeling, but like i always tell people, think of hearing aids as glasses but for the ears. Without glasses, you’re not blind, but you can’t see clearly either and wearing glasses with old prescriptions is as good as not wearing. Same with you wearing the aids that aren’t helping you now.

    Also, please don’t be ashamed of your situation, tell as many people as you can upfront that you can’t hear well, so that way they don’t immediately make negative assumptions about you. All the best!

    • kemi mobuse

      February 22, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      I got my last hearing aids from phonics, and they are ok, albeit expensive, it depends on the writer’s location though, there are two ENT Doctors that i can vouch for in Ikeja, and one in Ikoyi apart from phonics.

    • Favour

      February 25, 2016 at 9:58 am

      I won’t be ashamed anymore. Thanks for building back my courage

  2. miini

    February 21, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    Hey….kudos to u for being so strong and determined. Anytime u wanna feel bad, u sud think on ur achievements so far, that aint beans u know.

    So u ddnt say if u have had expert management so far, what test uv done and all that. I feel u sud visit d ENT clinic of a teaching hospital. U might get new light on d issue and better management.

    As for d love issue, everything good will come #winks. Try and get expert management 1st as that will help u with relating with pple generally. Cheers

    • Favour

      February 25, 2016 at 9:59 am

      Thank you

  3. Blueberry

    February 21, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    My dear don’t be sad. I understand how challenging and frustrating it is for you. I advice you to go see a specialist and explain that the current hearing aid doesn’t help much. I am sure he can prescribe a better one.

    Don’t despair. With a bit of determination you can find a solution to this.

  4. Kimberly

    February 21, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Dear writer,
    Thank you for writing about your perceived health inadequacy. Having a hearing problem can be very difficult thing. I know this because I had to go through it or do I say I am dealing with it.
    One of the 1st things I learnt was: This hearing deficit will not define me. I understand it is a really difficult situation. But you can not let the hearing deficit define you or your future.
    I do not know you but it seems you are allowing this deficit to define you, it is affecting your self esteem, and self worth. It appears you’ve some underline anxiety and or depression. One of the key things with any major diagnosis is to never let the diagnosis define you. So your are losing your hearing and so what?what is next? are you dead? You have a future waiting to start. Trust that your body is fighting a lot for you. The body is a very good defense mechanism, show yourself some love and appreciate yourself. Other people have things that they are struggling with. The fact that you do not notice it or see it doest mean people are struggling with worse situations.

    Another important thing to consider is to revisit the doctor for another hearing aid consultation. Your hearing aid might not be the best fit for you. They can adjust it or get you another one. For me, I had to consider the cochlear implant. Talk to your health care provider about your hearing options.
    You might also want to talk to consider therapy or have someone to process with you how you are feelings and, you need to talk about what this new hearing loss means to you or how it is affecting you.
    Again, I am very sorry you are dealing with this difficult situation but remember you will not be the 1st person to deal with this and you will not be the last person to deal with it.
    Relationships are difficult and finding the right man takes time and patience. You are young, Your own man will come in due time, he will understand what you are dealing with. You need to love yourself and appreciate the good things working for you. Focus on working on your future.
    I pray that God will heal you and give you the ability to appreciate yourself just the way you are . This might not be what you want to hear but things will get better once you accept yourself and start to love yourself despite your hearing situation.
    Good luck with everything.

    • Favour

      February 25, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Thanks, I seek this healing so much. Thank you

  5. Enny**

    February 21, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    My fiance has difficulty hearing sometimes. He catches himself screaming at me when we’re having normal conversations. Its alright, he’s still cute tho. lol.
    Never let this bring down your self worth in any way. Be confident in who you are. And when meeting someone for the first time let em know this is you and you use hearing-aids, it will help your conversations with that person. No biggie.
    And with my boo, it took us a long to find a specialist that was just right for him. It may be a while, but find someone that actually cares about your situation and acts accordingly. So don’t despair, you’re doing good.

  6. Anon

    February 21, 2016 at 7:07 pm


    • Honeycrown

      February 21, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      @Anon….Abeg why are you writing in CAPs na. The writer isn’t deaf biko stop yelling. ?

    • changing moniker

      March 13, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      I couldn’t read this… Pls stop using all CAPs

  7. Honeycrown

    February 21, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Dear Writer, I can understand how you think your hearing difficultly can be a challenge when you want to start dating but like others have said too, don’t let it define you and don’t let it become a hindrance and hold you back. Count your many other blessings and you’ll see that this is nothing and it could be worse. Keep your head up

    • Anon

      February 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm

      At honeycrown she needs practical advise . Hence my advise is in caps so it can stand out against the bleeding hearts pity party these sort of help request attract 😉

    • Californiabawlar

      February 21, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Nope. It doesn’t work that way. Writing in all caps is distracting and difficult to read. I’m sure there’s a study out there proving this.

    • anon

      February 22, 2016 at 1:24 am

      Nope califirniabrawler. Caps can be used gor emphasis. This help request writerr needs CLEAR DIRECTIVES. Cept you’ve got a form of dyslexia, or have a form of epilepsy caps shouldn’t effect your ability to read text. Maybe you should see your ootician. In addition research oroves that if you have an above average IQ you should be able to red and comrehen certin tex wit leters missi and in caps, easily. Don’t try too hard now I wouldn’t want you to burst a vein ?

    • Californiabawlar

      February 22, 2016 at 10:00 am

      Yeah, caps can be used for emphasis the way you just used it…not by typing an entire paragraph in all caps. Na you sabi if you won’t listen to correction…when you become a professional (it’s quite apparent you’re not one), try typing an email to a boss or client and see the feedback you get. In the time being, keep wasting your energy online typing what no one will read…it can’t make that much sense anyways if you don’t know simple text etiquette.
      Oh! I’m tickled by your attempt at ‘sarcasm’ (?? that’s what typing gibberish was supposed to be, right?) Well, you’re not smart or witty enough to bother me let alone burst a vein….lols. Grow up and hone your craft.

    • Vortex

      February 22, 2016 at 10:32 am

      @Anon, Honeycrown and Californiabawler are right. Yes, caps can be used for emphasis (as you’ve done here and Frank did below). Using caps all through (as you did in your earlier comment) is basically the same thing as screaming and most people don’t listen to people who scream. So, I’m pretty sure rather than read whatever valuable info you may have put down, many would simply skip it.

      It’s interesting how you made reference to research. I’m sure the research you based your argument on was done by a native doctor or herbalist because the studies I know of negate your view.

    • peter

      February 22, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Might not have burst a vein but I’ve touched a nerve. Califirniabrawler is that a professional name now?my caps certainly caught your attention enough for you to burn up data . Clap back baby?holding my breathe waiting for you to enlighten me on how to be professional on a blog site. Got insecurities much!!!.

    • Oma

      February 22, 2016 at 3:41 pm

      @Anon, while we are at it, has it occurred to you that there are could actually be readers who do have some form of dyslexia or epilepsy on this blog?

    • anon

      February 23, 2016 at 8:16 am


    • Calista

      March 4, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Your attempt at sounding educated and knowledable in medicine was embarrassing at best. What does capitalization have to do with aggravating dyslexia and causing an epileptic episode?-nothing. Dyslexia has to do with the brain’s inability to appropriately comprehend words in order and there are triggers for epilepsy but caps isn’t one of it. Also you had grammatical errors in your message so perhaps just focus on one thing at a time like sarcasm since the rest of your statement was an epic fail.

    • Favour

      February 25, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Thanks @honeycrown.

  8. Frank

    February 21, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Dear writer, I feel your pain. I’m in the exact same shoe you’re wearing right now, I have been hearing impaired for more than a decade now. it’s even worse because I have other health challenges added to it. life can be tough and tiring for someone in my shoes, at times I feel compelled to end it all, but I haven’t. thankfully, I was able to carry on with my studies and living my life one day at a time. count yourself lucky that you hear a bit, mine is more severe, a sensory neural hearing loss, I can’t use your conventional type of hearing aid and corrective surgery will cost a fortune, so it’s off the chart for now. Since you can manage a hearing aid, you you have no problems. You might wish to hear this, I’m a 2015 BATCH A CORPS MEMBER currently serving here in Lagos State, and hopefully will pass out in April. I’m not going to lie to you, but you can be sure I’m very scared of after service, same way you think you dread the service, I don’t know where the job will come from or who will be willing to employ someone with my challenges despite having the zeal. we can be friends if you don’t mind. if not, I wish you well. just keep your chin up and believe me, everything is going to be alright, make sure you don’t give in to despair. IF I FRANK CAN DO THIS, YOU CAN DO EVEN BETTER. PREPARE YOUR MIND TO ANSWER THE CLARION CALL, YOU WILL EXCEL.

    • Dr.N

      February 21, 2016 at 10:37 pm

      Let me veer off cos the first writer gave fab advise. You both can team up and form an NGO or something. Create visibility for ppl with hearing challenges. As a support group u can come up with ways to earn money, host speaking or training seminars etc. Do u see where I am going? You don’t need paid employment where someone will be shouting at you, “Are u deaf?” Everyday.

    • Frank

      February 22, 2016 at 7:33 am

      Thank you Dr. N for your kind words and useful suggestions, it is worth a try and I will gladly work towards actualizing that, albeit I’m yet to fully wrap my head around this. it does seem there are quite a number of people with same challenges in here. I don’t think there’s any reason now for the Poster to still feel all alone, we all can come together and work our way through this. Dear Poster, carefully go through the suggestions and pick those that you think are best for you. As regards your service, you won’t have any problems with NYSC, and yes, you can cope, just be strong. In case you still have the cold feet, you can whatsapp me with the below contact let’s put heads together on this, don’t limit yourself. It will also be nice to get to meet others with same Challenge: 08154181022. I hope I’m not breaking any forum rules by dropping my contacts.

  9. Sibo

    February 21, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I am sorry to be stating the obvious but, a rational thing to do would be to go to the audiologist and get your prescription reviewed. There are all sorts of hearing aids out there. You yourself are a graduate so not new to research I am sure you are quite capable of researching your options. its not as difficult as a research program. In fact it’s very easy. Just type hearing lost you get a load of hits. There are also a good number of support groups. And to answer your question regarding dating. I myself have always followed the honesty is the best policy. Tell who ever seems to be interested in you that you have a hearing impediment. Simple.

  10. Bukky

    February 21, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    Dear poster
    Don’t feel bad about it, I’m in your exact position right now. Surgery can’t even cure mine cos its hereditary . I can’t bring myself to using that hearing aids. It’s embarrassing I know. I even live in the uk where I got it for free but I don’t know. I later did it the traditional way. I still am . We will be fine . It will only get better and don’t let it define you at all. Almost done with my MBA so yh think about the achievements. You’ve come this far and you’ll do just alright

  11. ElessarisElendil

    February 22, 2016 at 1:26 am

    ” I don’t know how being loved feels, as the only one I get is from family” Familial love is the best kind, don’t underrate them.

  12. Thatgidigirl

    February 22, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Hey, I’m hard of hearing in one ear but its not very noticeable unless you talk to me from that side. I developed my other senses to make up for it and it has worked well for me. I have been called a snob a lot of times, plus I wear glasses and squint a lot so that doesn’t help. Don’t be too hard on yourself, see your doctors and let them know your challenge with the hearing aid. I was given one horrible outdated hearing aid that had this buzzing background noise when I was a kid and I just couldn’t use it. Thankfully the other ear has been working 200perc and even got sharper I think. One of my worst fears is losing both, my mum’s own is almost gone, but I try not to worry anymore since it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen soon. Please be honest with your partners too, you need a patient person. I always tell people I date and they don’t even notice till I tell them,cos I ensure they stand, sit, walk on the “good” side.

    • Vortex

      February 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

      Mine’s almost similar. I almost can’t hear anything with one of my ears while the other functions about 70-75% well. It’s also not noticeable except someone tries whispering in/close to the bad one and yeah, sometimes I also worry about losing everything…

      Dear poster, while the severity of the cases may differ, just know that you’re not alone :-). I used to worry about people finding out and I was even kinda told to hide it but I’ve realised that it’s nothing to be ashamed of… So much good advice has been given already. Best wishes!

  13. Tosin

    February 22, 2016 at 6:49 am

    (You’re alright, nothing wrong with being a little different/special.)

  14. papermoon

    February 22, 2016 at 9:02 am

    We had a blind guy in our class and once we knew he was blind, we were all ready to lead him where ever he wanted to go. He would put his hands on another person’s shoulders and we would lead him to the wash room, lectures, canteen etc. You should let the people around you know your difficulties and they will be ready to help you..(share their notes with you, repeat sentences to you etc). A lot of people are that good. there is nothing to be ashamed of. If anything at all, you should be proud of yourself for going this far in spite of your difficulties. Be open about your difficulties, those who will assist you will assist you. Sometimes you suffer in silence for nothing. THERE IS NO STIGMA IN THIS…..Mean while seek further medical attention as being suggested.

    Now back to my mate, he was able to finish the course with a good class and when he was called to receive his certificate, one of our mates led him up as usual and we all gave him a standing ovation…we were proud of him.

    My dear, when love comes along, let them this is your difficulty. If they really like they will stick around…………and please, love will come when it will..relax.

  15. DocDeola

    February 22, 2016 at 9:21 am

    There are courses for learning how to lip read. Also learning how to ‘sign’ esp with loved ones in crowded/loud places may be useful…like learning another language ( even just a few key signs like, help, come closer!). As well as visiting an audiologist/ENT and getting multiple opinions if necessary.

    • Californiabawlar

      February 22, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Lip reading will help a whole lot!
      Plus it’s a ‘cool’ skill to have handy…
      Dear poster, all is well that ends well. I’ve had issues that I thought could prevent me from finding love, but with self love and confidence, you’d be surprised at how people overlook it in a second.

      All lot of good and practical advice up here…peace!

  16. Mobuse Oluwakemi

    February 22, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Hi Dear, am Kemi Mobuse, i was in same boat as you since 1996, my Secondary days, i was also very intelligent to the Glory of God, and now, am happily married with a son and expecting my second. My point is., Pleaseeeeee do not under any circumstances, let this define you, or hold you back in anyway. First of all, learn to lip read, and try not to turn your back on people when in a conversation, except you can’t help it. all the while i was in University, i used hearing aids, and i let my boyfriends of then know, am hard of hearing, infact, i kind of flaunted it, cause i know, i can’t afford to let that stop me,with all the events wey full ground, i’ll now miss out on gifts? mbanu! lol! though, there were still moments when people thought i was a snob too. but who cares, eh! life is too short my friend.
    After i finished service, my hearing aids stopped working for me entirely, my ENT Dr said i will need to do cochlear implant,to enable me hear again, which costs about 7 mil, that was in 2011, but before i did that, i tried once again, and moved on to a digital hearing aid from a manual one, it worked for like 6 months, after i got it. then all went quiet again in my ears.
    i even met a guy around then, but cause of the hearing aid going off and no longer working with me, i had issues in the relationship. i felt incomplete, but dusted myself off and started all over again. three months, after my breakup with the guy, i met my now husband, i was not using hearing aid, nor any help of any kind, i relied solely on lip reading, so you can imagine during my proposal, all the long talk that the poor guy gave,me, i didn’t hear it oh,i just said yes, make i collect ring jare, lol! we actually dated for just 6 months, before getting engaged and married within 9 months. so, absolutely nothing is impossible for God.
    that was in 2013. i had my son in 2014, and guess what, i just manged to do my cochlear implant, dec last year, the surgeon actually flew in from Europe, and with God who used my husband,cousins and Siblings, i raised 4.5 mil , the cost of the surgery, and am hearing again now, though not “there” yet, but hey, am on my way. The highlight of it all, is, i can hear my son, with all his ramblings, laugh and tears. so my dear, chin up. you can email me on [email protected], if you need help. May God Strengthen you love.

    • Favour

      February 25, 2016 at 9:53 am

      Am inspired ma, thanks for this advice. I’ll contact you, thanks

  17. peter

    February 22, 2016 at 11:38 am

    I was born with hearing impediment. I never knew I was different. I just automatically lip read. I now have hearing aids. But I mostly lip read. People don’t know except I tell them.

  18. Bukky D

    February 22, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Hey writer.. and everyone.

    Encouraging to know that there are few people going through this.

    I think people have said most of what i was going to say. I am hard of hearing myself and believe me i understand how difficult and terrifying it can be sometimes and how it can affect your self confidence. but you need to build your mind up to ensure that it does not affect your self esteem.

    Definitely speak to Dr. Bola at Phonics in Ikoyi.. otherwise if you are by chance in London google Click Hearing in Upminster. The guy got me the best pair of hearing aids. for me (The one i originally requested for was not as good as the one he recommend for me) plus you can trial the hearing aids and decide if youw ant to keep them..
    I can honestly say they are. best i’ve ever had for a decent price (They are still considerably pricey though)

    I would definitely recommend lip reading and let people around you know you are hard of hearing. people are a lot more understanding than you think.anyone acting otherwise. you don’t need them.

    You’ve come this far.. let no one stop you now and focus on God always..
    good luck!

    thank you for sharing your testimony @Kemi Mobuse

    • kemi Mobuse

      February 23, 2016 at 7:41 am

      Thank You Bukky D, We are all winners in every way, its just a matter of trusting God that, Everything happens for a reason.

    • Favour

      February 25, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thanks so much

  19. Funmi

    February 23, 2016 at 6:48 pm

    Your story is so inspiring.
    I love your spirit and courage and the fact that you no send and I dare say I know the reason why your man fell for you.

  20. Favour

    February 25, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Thanks so much everyone, I cried reading your comments. Thanks for the encouragement and words of advice. You all are the best, atleast I’ll stop looking down at myself now as am now fully aware I know am not in this alone.
    And to for those that suggested I get a new hearing aids, finances is one of the constraining factor and am gathering the little I have to get a new one but I don’t know how soon.
    Thanks aunty bella for posting this. ?

  21. kemi Mobuse

    February 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Hi guys, kindly check out my blog, i just started it , to talk on my hearing challenges journey and also advertise made in Naija stuffs, so if you have products to advertise or share, kindly contact me, if you want to tell your story, please do same too. Thanks

    • kemi Mobuse

      February 29, 2016 at 3:52 pm

      sorry, blog url is

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