Mark Hammel’s hearing was damaged in his 20s by machine gun fire when he served in the Israeli Army. But not until decades later, at 57, did he receive his first hearing aids.
“It was very joyful, but also very sad, when I contemplated how much I had missed all those years,” Dr. Hammel, a psychologist in Kingston, N.Y., said in an interview. “I could hear well enough sitting face to face with someone in a quiet room, but in public, with background noise, I knew people were talking, but I had no idea what they were saying. I just stood there nodding my head and smiling.