Coming to Terms with Your Hearing Loss

Coming to Terms with Your Hearing Loss

Bonnie L. Baehr, Au.D.

Hearing loss is widespread today – about 40 percent of Americans experience some hearing loss, or 2 out of every five people you know! Though hearing loss is not uncommon, it is rarely easy to come to terms with a hearing problem. Hearing issues can produce intense emotions and have insidious effects on your life.

Hearing loss can be challenging to accept

Before you have started to realize that you can’t hear as well as you used to, you might begin to blame others for your inability to understand. You may get irritated at family and loved ones because they don’t talk loud enough, or accuse those around you of mumbling. You might not want to add a hearing test to your list of things and don’t want to invest money in hearing aids.

These are all obstacles when you start getting to grips with your hearing loss. Your family may also get frustrated, feeling that you deliberately ignore them when you fail to answer a question you haven’t asked, or feel upset that you’re not willing to book a hearing test.

The condition isn’t always easy to accept, and it can be isolating to experience changes in your hearing. However, it is crucial to tackling this transition head-on, as treating hearing loss brings significant benefits.

Here are some ways in which you can begin to face your hearing loss and move on with your life.

Talk about it

Although there may be opposition on these different levels, being able to talk about hearing loss is the first essential step toward a solution.

Find a moment to speak freely and sensitively about your hearing loss. When you suffer hearing loss, face the emotional obstacles, and discuss the problem with those you love. Although this is the first step, we acknowledge that this may also be the most difficult, as it is tied up with the worry that you are getting older. 

But it would be best if you remembered that asking others to repeat themselves repeatedly will make you look older much more quickly than wearing a hearing aid and being actively engaged in conversations. 

Improve communication with those around you. 

If you’re struggling to understand, there are a few things you can ask friends to do to make it easy for everyone to talk.

  • When you have a friend at home, ask them to turn off all background noise, such as the television or radio. 
  • Tell them to call your name when they start talking to you. This will help you pay attention from the moment they start speaking. 
  • Tell them to speak naturally, without talking too quickly or slowly and without raising their voice. People might think yelling louder will help you understand, but shouting will blur sounds and make it harder for you to distinguish what has been said.

Get a hearing aid

While the hearing aids of today are unable to restore your hearing, they can mitigate the impact hearing has on your daily life. 

With the assistance of hearing aids, moments at work, in a restaurant, and with loved ones will be easier to manage. Hearing aids are not what your grandparents wore a long time ago. The cutting-edge digital technology helps reduce background noise and focuses on what you want to hear accurately. Such sophisticated little pieces of technology are designed to be unobtrusive and are often almost invisible to others, such as with Lyric.

But if you find the right hearing aid, you need to account for the adjustment time needed to get the most out of them. Hearing aids don’t work like headphones and don’t give you immediate results. Instead, hearing aids require a bit of fine-tuning, and your brain will need to get used to hearing certain sounds again. This will take time, but after some practice, your quality of life could improve immeasurably. 

It’s time for a hearing test

Don’t wait seven years after noticing your hearing worsen, like others tend to do. You’ll miss out on your grandchildren’s voices, songs, a loved one’s words, and the sound of rustling leaves on a Sunday morning walk. 

Untreated loss of hearing has been linked with depression, anxiety, hypertension, and early signs of dementia. However, treating hearing loss offers tremendous benefits – and the sooner you visit us, the sooner we can help you return to your better life!