Do you have hearing loss? Sometimes explaining your hearingloss to others is more frustrating than the hearing loss itself. People don’tunderstand that speech is difficult to follow, or that loud noises seemespecially loud. You get tired more quickly than your friends, and all theeffort straining to hear leaves you feeling completely drained by the evening.Hearing loss has been called an invisible disability, and no one can tell justby looking at you that you’re struggling to hear. This makes it important totalk to your friends and loved ones about hearing loss. We know how you feel,and here are a few of the things we with people know about hearing loss.
Living with hearing loss is no walk in the park. From theoutside, you look just like everyone else, but inside, your brain is workingdouble time just to understand what’s happening around you. With hearing loss,your ears aren’t picking up on all the sounds around you, and your brain isscrambling to piece the information together into something meaningful in an exhaustinggame of fill in the blanks, trying to use the context to understand any of themissing pieces.
You used to have energy to go out after work, and a fullschedule didn’t scare you. With hearing loss, you feel completely exhausted inthe evening, and avoid social events after work because you’re just too tired.
Have you ever turned around to find someone staring at youangrily? Maybe they’ve called your name three times, but you simply didn’t hearthem. We wish everyone knew that those with hearing loss aren’t being rude, butthat some things that might seem like rudeness is just a product of not beingable to hear clearly. Maybe someone hasn’t responded to your ‘excuse me’ in acrowded grocery store isle, or failed to give you space at the office coffeemaker. Don’t assume that the person was being rude, but consider the fact thatthey might simply not have heard you.
Just because you have hearing loss doesn’t mean you don’thave clear opinions, or that you can’t speak for yourself. At a restaurant, youwish your friends wouldn’t answer for you. You didn’t hear the waiter explainthe daily specials, but you still care about what you’re going to eat forlunch, and you you’re your friends would repeat the menu, and allow you tospeak for yourself.
Another thing people with hearing loss are tired ofexplaining are a few simple tips that can really help with clear communication.Always face the person with hearing loss, and get their attention beforespeaking. This will insure that they’re primed and ready to listen when youstart speaking, and won’t have to play a game of catch up, scrambling to piecetogether the meaning of what you said before they started listening. If theperson you’re speaking to is sitting down, pull up a chair and get comfortable.Being on the same level will aid in communication, and allow the person withhearing loss to read your facial expressions and body language to add contextto what you’re saying.
People who wear hearing aids can often hear clearly, anddon’t face as many issues as those living with untreated hearing loss. However,it’s important to realize that hearing aids aren’t the same as glasses. Theydon’t work from the moment you put them in your ears, and there is anadjustment period for someone to get used to their new devices.
Modern hearing technology is incredibly advanced, and can domany things automatically, but not all programs and setting adjust themselves,and you’ll have to select the appropriate program or change the settings toadapt to the listening environment. Hearing aids occasionally have difficultydifferentiating between background sounds and important speech sounds and ifsomeone speaks to you from behind, it’s possible your hearing aids won’trecognize the voice as an important speech sound that needs to be amplified.
If you have hearing loss, visit us at Glendora hearing for a hearing test, and to learn more about our hearing devices that will help you hear in every listening environment.