21 Formerly Deaf People Reveal What It Was Like To Hear Their First Sound.

People who was born deaf and gained hearing later in life were asked on Reddit: "What was the first sound you ever heard? How did it make you feel?" These are some of the best answers.

1/21 It was a tap running, my mother was making me a drink. I was 4 at the time and my mother said it was so relieving for me to finally be able to speak and hear things properly.


2/21 I've had hearing aid since I was about 3, but I got a cochlear implant when I was 6. The first sound I recall really noticing was the sound of rain drops on my umbrella, as it rained the day I got my implant turned on.


3/21 My parents put together that I had hearing issues when I was about 3-4. I frequently ignored them, sat 6 inches from the TV with the volume all the way up. I remember occasionally putting my ear up right against the TV speaker when they would turn it down. I went to a ENT and discovered I was 75% deaf in both ears due to having abnormally small eustachian tubes and my ears would not drain fluid. I got tubes placed in my ears (several times) and my hearing became significantly better.

I never really thought about what an airplane sounded like before I heard it the first time. I suppose I thought they were silent, which is funny because I lived 10 minutes from an air base. Well the blue angels were practicing for an air show one day. My parents were outside in the garden and I came inside to go to the bathroom. Mid- pee I hear the most terrifying sound I have ever heard, and it was so loud I thought for sure my ears were exploding. I sprinted through the house and out the door to get to my parents with both my underwear and shorts around my ankles.


4/21 Farts. I totally expected a high pitched whistle. I figure a mouth pucker is less tight than an anal one, and that's a squeal. So why don't butthole blasts sound like a dog whistle going off? I thought that's why Waldo, my Hearing Ear Daschund, got so upset when I tooted. I figured it was like the starting gun at the Doggie Olympics. But no. It's probably just the smell that made him so concerned. You live, you learn.


5/21 F*cking machines.

Humming and buzzing and beeping and motor noises and fan noises.

Also when you're using a tap, and for some reason the water pressure makes that noise. Kid me never knew there was actually a noise for it. Scared the sh*t out of me the first time I heard it.


6/21 I was diagnosed profoundly deaf ages 7 months old. Around 18 months old I was operated on to restore some hearing, and also had a brain scan hearing test while sedated - You can't use a normal test on children that young as it's based on responses.

I learned to lipread very well from a young age, and a little bit of sign, so I went to mainstream schools. I was bullied because of my hearing-aids so I stopped wearing them - only possible because of my lip-reading skills. About 10 years later I accept that my hearing is getting worse and worse so I agree to start wearing aids again.

Well that was weird as f*ck, I never knew the world was so noisey. I could hear my hair moving against my ears, I could hear my breathing, my footsteps, the crunch of gravel, the buzzing of the fridge, the fan in my laptop, clicks of the keyboard and mouse, clocks, plumbing, heating, the fire crackling and the tinkle of the bell on my cats collar. So much noise I never knew existed.

I found it really hard to adjust and only wear the aids for social engagements as there is just too much going on all the time to cope with. Being in an empty room means silence to me, and always has done, and to find out that just isn't the case for everyone really blew my mind.


7/21 Head noises. Seriously, little burps and gurgles of saliva are the weirdest sounds in the world.


8/21 I think the most significant thing I remember was when I was 10. I had reconstructive surgery on my ears (I have prosthetic bones in my ears now) On the first day of going back to school, I remember getting up to go to school. I was going about my normal routine. The house was quiet. Then I heard it. I heard the loud ticking. I freaked out. I had no idea what it was and in my mind, I came to the conclusion that there was a bomb in the house. I remember running to my mom, who was in the kitchen, crying and telling her we were going to die. Of course mom made me take her to where I heard the ticking (living room) . After a minute, she smiled, tears in her eyes, and explained to me what I was hearing for the first time ever was the clock hanging on the wall. I had no idea something as simple as a clock could be so loud.


9/21 My sister had hearing aids as a kid but her level of hearing increased dramatically when she got a cochlear implant at the age of six.

She was in the kitchen and farted incredibly loudly. With a look of abject horror she turned to my mother and said 'IT MAKES A NOISE!?'


10/21 The first time I heard gravel scared the hell out of me, I thought something was breaking! And fridges scared me too, sounded like what I imagined the noises in scary movies are by the subtitles.

Lost all that bit of hearing I gained again now though :(


11/21 My brother is hard of hearing, and as he has Down's Syndrome he couldn't really tolerate a hearing aide until he was 20. The first time he mentioned a sound was when we got home. He went to the loo and I heard him laugh hysterically. When I asked what was so funny he shouted, "I can hear my pee! My pee is so loud!"

I remind him as often as possible about it and we still laugh like children about it.


12/21 I think the strangest thing for me was getting used to background noises, it wasn't just one noise that stood out, it was just having to deal with everything all at once, it was very overwhelming. This can mean stuff like air conditioning, bird noises, and f*ck me, when I heard ambulances and police sirens, bricks were shat. After the first few months you get used to it, but I always found hearing people breathing was creepy as f*ck, it was the first thing I noticed!

I was born profoundly deaf and didn't find out I was deaf until I was three years old. I had an hearing aid, but it didn't help that much as my hearing loss was severe. Then at 10 years old I was given a choice to have a cochlear implant and it was one of the best decision s I've ever made in my life, it impacted me into the person I am today. I've never been so thankful in all of my life :)


13/21 My Mom was. When she got her implants she said the weirdest thing was the wind. I was sitting with her and she asked me who was making that whistling, wooshing sound outside.

She proceeded to look around the house for a good hour, I had no idea what she was talking about and assumed her implant was malfunctioning. It began raining so I closed the window and the sound of the wind stopped and she pretty much broke down crying/laughing in frustration while shouting THE WIND MAKES NOISE DID YOU KNOW THAT WOW THAT'S SO CREEPY at like, 2AM.

It was that and whistling. She pretty much didn't stop whistling whenever she was alone for like two months.


14/21 I was born with moderate hearing loss and got hearing aids at the age of 3. Had hearing aids until the end of my junior year of high school, when I got a cochlear implant.

To compare, with hearing aids in high school I could hear and understand about 15% of what was said in a quiet room. At the start of my senior year, I could hear 94%!

It never really hit me just how much my hearing had changed until thanksgiving during my senior year. I was walking up the driveway to my uncles place and I heard footsteps, I thought someone was chasing me! After running inside and looking, it hit me those were MY footsteps.


15/21 Was born deaf due to a problem with what I want to say is something like my ears being closed up, but starting to gain hearing mostly around three. I was to young to remember but my father said he was driving with me and a train was coming and got stuck at the rail got. He was trying to get to the store to get something for my mother that she needed to cool a meal for Grandparents visiting and needed it asap. So when he got stuck he yelled "F*ck!" really loud.

He says that he noticed me look over at him right then like I heard him. He is convinced that was the first thing I heard. After that he got me a Thomas the train toy and over the years I got many more just because of that incident and I liked trains. 20 years later I still have those train toys.


16/21 Good I'll never forget when I was 14 and the banging vibrations I felt from my parents room every night (but could never figure out what was causing it) materialized into a muffled moaning/yelling noise for the first time, which was equally confusing at first (until I started slowly hearing more and more sounds and I finally put it all together)


17/21 My Dad was born almost 2 months prematurely and it forever affected his hearing. He was easily 50+ by the time he finally realized he needed hearing aids. I'll never forget being in the car with him stopped at a light, when I could see this annoyed look come across his face. "What's that noise?"

"What noise?"

"That clicking sound, what have you done to the car?"

"... You mean the turn signal?"

"...It makes a noise?"


18/21 The toilet flushing at age 3-4. Terrifying. Thought it was a monster.


19/21 My nephew is profoundly deaf and has been treated with bilateral cochlear implants that he has had since he was <1 year old. When they were calibrating the implants they would have my nephew sit on my sister's lap and they would ask her if she thought it was too loud/not loud enough etc. My nephew just sat there like a stump and it drove my sister crazy - she just didn't know he was hearing anything. Finally the audiologists thought they had things set up properly so as a test we came home and put on a Bach concerto. At first nothing then all of a sudden a huge smile broke out on his face and it was like he had been swept up with a wave of pure joy. So that was the first time he heard music.


20/21 I was born with moderate-severe hearing loss. (cookie bite/severe in mid frequencies - like talk). Not quite the same because I've worn hearing aids sine I was 3 and I've always heard most sounds.

However, I remember I changed hearing aids to some dope digital ones in high school. My audiologist and I messed around with the settings, trying to optimize them. The next day at school, I could hear the sound of people writing. Like pencils dragging across paper. It f*cking sucked and was/is soo annoying. At first it surprised me and I was like whoa. But mins later it was miserable. Taking a test and everyone is rushing through and its just dead silence except scribble scribble scribble scribble scribble scribble scribble


21/21 Got sick at one year and been deaf my whole life. I gotten my cochlear implant at about 11 years old. I heard my mother talk to me and arrived home heard my miniature schnauzer bark, it was really awesome. Years later, I had the cochlear implant updated, I had an iPod and the first song I played was Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven. It just blew me away. My CI doesn't make me hearing at all. It's just an device. I embrace my deafness. Now days, I just use my CI to listen to music, movies, or going out of town.


Sources: 1, 2

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