Hearing loss can have a profound impact on your life, especially when you’re just coming to terms with it. Whether you have gradually lost your hearing or have had a sudden hearing reduction, you may experience emotions and scenarios that you could not have previously predicted.
The most important things to remember about hearing loss are that it doesn’t have to affect your quality of life and that you’re not alone. There is a range of professionals who can help you to understand and improve your situation and a host of technology that can assist you too.
Today we’re going to explore some of these techniques and tools – from the practical to the emotive – in order to shed some light on living with hearing loss.
Understanding the Emotions
Grief is a natural and healthy part of the human experience and it’s perfectly normal to grieve when we lose our hearing. If you are experiencing hearing loss it’s important to understand this and to work through this in your own way. Each grieving experience is unique to the individual and it’s important to keep this in mind.
The loved ones of someone with hearing loss should also keep this in mind. We don’t think it’s unusual to grieve for a relative who dies and this situation should be treated with the same respect and sensitivity.
Stress, Frustration, Embarrassment and Fatigue
When communication goes from being second nature to being a struggle, it’s natural to experience these emotions. Telephone conversations might become stressful, while attempting to enjoy music or television may lead to frustration. Of course, these are just two of many common situations that you may encounter, many of which also involve embarrassment and eventual fatigue.
It’s important not only to understand that these challenges may occur but also to find ways to overcome them.
Making it Easier – Talking to a Person with Hearing Loss
When talking to a person with limited hearing make sure to find a quiet place, face them directly and make sure you have their attention before you start talking. Visual cues are also important, especially in noisy environments.
Make sure you don’t shout and talk naturally and clearly – not too fast, not too slow and no overemphasising words.
Having a Conversation as the Person with Hearing Loss
As always, a conversation goes two ways, so if you struggle to hear, try and find a quiet well-lit area. It’s ok to tell people how to talk to you and guide them when the conversation gets difficult.
Concentrating and utilising visual (and even written) cues can also be useful.
Living with hearing difficulties isn’t all about hearing devices but using them when appropriate can make things easier. Finding a comfortable, well-fitting and appropriate hearing device doesn’t have to be hard either.
In the modern day, there are a range of devices available that are discreet to look at but powerful for the user. A qualified clinician – like the team at Audio Bay – can help you to fit your device for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
The Power of Positivity
Above all else, the ability to remain positive can have a profound effect in many situations. Try to stay relaxed and do all the normal things to stay healthy, like sleeping enough, maintaining a balanced diet and exercising regularly.
Maintain an active life and when you feel comfortable you can always use comedy to talk about your hearing loss.
Of course, staying positive isn’t always easy, so reach out to friends, family, support groups and counsellors whenever you feel need to talk.