“My world just shattered” - Zee Avi on her hearing loss

20 May 2022 02:05pm
Zee Avi opens up about her hearing loss journey.
Zee Avi opens up about her hearing loss journey.

In a perfect world, we would be fit as a fiddle everyday, for the rest of our lives. But life doesn’t work that way - it’s full of surprises, good and bad.

A health condition could alter your life drastically. This is something Sarawakian singer-songwriter Zee Avi could very well relate to.

Fans of the petite “Kantoi” singer would know of her recent health revelation, when she opened up about her hearing loss journey.

In an interview with Sinar Daily, she recalled the day the audiologist informed her of her condition and how it was a difficult moment to digest.

“The audiologist told me that I had permanent hearing loss, and that I only had 60 per cent of hearing left.

“I guess my world just shattered at the time. Next thing I knew, my face was wet, I remember crying. My mother was there with me, she knew how hard it was for me to take in the news.

“As a musician, the ear is an essential tool,” said Zee who’s full name is Izyan Alirahman.

Zee’s hearing loss, however, was not an overnight episode. She said that it had been a recurring problem for many years.
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But it wasn’t until interacting with others became a real challenge that she slowly came to realise it was time to seek help.

“It was hard because I couldn’t hear what people were saying and I didn’t want to be rude by asking them to repeat themselves. Going through that felt very isolating.

Despite the unexpected plot twist in life, Zee has moved forward like a champ. Just like the title of her latest single “OK”, she is in fact, doing okay.

More so because she has found a hearing aid which she can depend on.

She discovered Global Hearing Care Centre last year, and they introduced to her a hearing aid model called “Alpha” which is not only designed to improve the user’s social life, but it’s also specifically programmed for musical audio.

“The hearing aid has helped me tremendously. I can hear everything clearly and I can even listen to music on the go. No need for airpods!

“Most importantly I can put my headphones over it for hours and not feel a thing.

“You can adjust the volume so if you don’t feel like listening to your mother nagging at you - just turn it down!” joked Zee.

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It may not be an easy journey to go through, but as a public figure, the platform she has enables her to share her story and raise awareness.

“For the younger generation, the aspiring musicians, singers, I believe they have a bright future ahead of them but if they are going to be involved in music production in the long run, please take care of your ears.

“I never thought this would happen to me. What would make me feel less alone is for people who recognise that they have hearing issues, to go and get themselves checked.

“We are pretty lucky that we live in a time when society has become more accepting towards the physical and emotional challenges that people go through.

“We are built uniquely and we are all different. But you need to understand that you have to take care of yourself first before people accept you for who you are,” she said.