At Night, When I am Deaf

At the end of a long, noisy day

Some people remove their hearing aids

Or sound processors

For some quiet time, some peace

Before going to bed.


These are the moments of ahhh……


For others, removing their technology

And moving about, soundless

Makes them feel uncomfortable, disconnected,

Floating in a world of cotton batten.

Footsteps are silent

Light switches don’t click

Words seen on the lips of others,

Carry no vibrations.

These people prefer sound over silence.


But for me, there is always sound

Whether I wear my technology

Or remove it.


In the morning, shortly after rising

I put on my hearing aid and sound processor

Which feed me sounds

All day, all evening,

Right up to the moment,

Before I turn out the light,

When I remove them, bidding them goodnight.


Then it is dark,

And I am deaf –

To the external sounds but

The internal whooshes, roars and hums

Of tinnitus become louder,

Having no competition

From real sounds.


Sleep comes, sooner or later.

In my dreams, I don’t have hearing loss

And even better, there is no tinnitus.

One day, perhaps,

The head sounds will be gone 24/7.


But for now, it’s only at night,

When I am deaf and in a dream world

That sound originates where it’s supposed to:

Outside, not inside, my head.


For now, in the morning,

As my sleeping brain

Swims back to consciousness

A new day of inner-and-outer sound

Starts again.

About Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a writer, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog for, which has an international following, Gael wrote the acclaimed book "The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss". She is regularly invited to present her uniquely humorous and insightful work to appreciative audiences around the world. Gael has received many awards for her work, which includes advocacy for a more inclusive society for people with hearing loss. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.


  1. I understand that you know very well that what you “hear” (tinnitus) is not sound. Although it might well seem to you like “sound” …

    1. Thank you, Jaika, I’m glad you understand that. We use words as best as we can to convey our situation and emotions.

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