Hearing loss does not discriminate by age, gender, or personality, and nobody chooses to have difficulty hearing. But when people find themselves struggling to hear, they often react by feeling embarrassed, angry, or even ashamed. It is not uncommon to deny that there is even a problem, though it may be apparent to themselves and everyone around them.
If you are struggling with your hearing, try to resist those negative reactions. There are very concrete ways that you can take control, and in doing so you will feel better about not only your hearing, but yourself.
IT’S OKAY TO ASK SOMEONE TO REPEAT THEMSELVES
One of the greatest frustrations for those with hearing loss is having to ask people to repeat themselves. They often feel that to do so comes off as annoying, or as rude because they were not paying attention to begin with. That’s simply not the case at all. Even those of us with normal hearing have to ask people to repeat themselves from time to time. A noisy or distracting environment, the fact that the speaker did not have your attention when addressing you, or maybe even the speaker’s lack of clarity due to mumbling or speaking at low volume can make hearing challenging for anyone. It is even more difficult for someone with hearing difficulties.
There is absolutely no shame in asking someone to repeat themselves. Always remember that communication is a two-way street, and all parties involved share the responsibility of ensuring that everyone is heard and understood.
RECRUIT A SUPPORT GROUP
A key step for coping with hearing loss is confiding in and requesting the support of the people most important to you. Family, friends, and even co-workers can play a vital role in how you take on this challenge. If they are not aware of the problem, how can they help?
When your support group is aware of the situation, they can actively assist you by employing a variety of communication strategies. For example, they will know that a noisy environment like a restaurant will not be conducive to having a good conversation and choose to find a quieter place to talk. They can make sure they have your attention before speaking to you, or even intercede in a situation where they know you are having trouble hearing another speaker.
There are many communication strategies that can be helpfully employed when hearing loss is involved, and more often than not, you will find that those around you are happy to help. Just give them a chance.
HEARING AIDS DO HELP
Many people are reluctant to even consider the use of hearing aids. One reason for this is the stigma associated with them. Modern hearing instruments have advanced tremendously, and they often play a key role in the treatment of hearing loss. Still, many people associate them with antiquated technology that was clunky, not as effective, and aesthetically unpleasant.
In addition to being more effective than ever before, modern hearing aids are small and discreet. But even if they weren’t, why view them negatively? Just like the cell phone in your pocket and the fitness tracker on your wrist, they are examples of modern technology that can be used to improve your everyday life. It’s not uncommon for initially reluctant users to eventually become rather excited about the technology. Once they get a feel for how hearing aids can improve their ability to hear and communicate, embarrassment and the desire for discretion are replaced by enthusiastic appreciation.
SEE AND AUDIOLOGIST
Of course, hearing aids are only part of the puzzle. As powerful as they are, they require the knowledge and skills of a hearing healthcare professional to ensure that they are meeting your specific hearing needs.
Audiologists are the premier professionals to rely on when it comes to your hearing health, and they represent the foundation of a successful hearing healthcare journey. Audiologists possess comprehensive knowledge of both the auditory and vestibular systems, making them the best option for the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss for individuals of all ages. Coping with hearing loss is not easy, but having a caring and knowledgeable audiologist that can provide guidance and support is essential for creating a successful treatment plan.
Remember, if you or someone you care about is having difficulty hearing, it is nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Help is available, and the professionals of Sound Hearing Solutions would appreciate the opportunity to demonstrate what a difference Patient-Centered Hearing care can make on your hearing, and your life!