What You Need to Know About Running and Hearing Loss | Runner’s World

Last winter, I was one of eight people on a Sunday long run. We spent most of the run in four groups of two. When I got home and my wife asked about the run, I said I’d spent most of it beside Erin, an ob-gyn who loves to discuss books. My wife asked about Erin’s recent work and reading list. I said I didn’t really know, even though we’d just spent more than an hour talking with each other.

That is, unfortunately, the norm for me on group runs. I have a form of severe hearing loss One manifestation is that it’s extraordinarily difficult for me to follow a conversation when there’s competing background noise. That includes restaurants and movies with music atop dialogue. But it also means something like that group long run, where Erin and I were sandwiched by lively conversations ahead of and behind us.

Hearing loss intrudes on nearly every aspect of my life. Some consequences are trivial (not hearing beeps from my running watch), some are moderately annoying (always seeking the quietest parts of public spaces), and some are depressing (regularly missing sounds and experiences that bring joy to others). There’s also the knowledge that my hearing is likely to continue to deteriorate, which puts me at risk for other conditions that could further erode my quality of life.

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