Do you have hearing loss? Sometimes explaining your hearing loss to others is more frustrating than the hearing loss itself. People don’t understand that speech is difficult to follow, or that loud noises seem especially loud. You get tired more quickly than your friends, and all the effort straining to hear leaves you feeling completely drained by the evening. Hearing loss has been called an invisible disability, and no one can tell just by looking at you that you’re struggling to hear. This makes it important to talk 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.
Hearing Loss can be Exhausting
Living with hearing loss is no walk in the park. From the outside, you look just like everyone else, but inside, your brain is working double 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 is scrambling to piece the information together into something meaningful in an exhausting game of fill in the blanks, trying to use the context to understand any of the missing pieces.
You used to have energy to go out after work, and a full schedule didn’t scare you. With hearing loss, you feel completely exhausted in the evening, and avoid social events after work because you’re just too tired.
People with Hearing Loss Aren’t Rude
Have you ever turned around to find someone staring at you angrily? Maybe they’ve called your name three times, but you simply didn’t hear them. We wish everyone knew that those with hearing loss aren’t being rude, but that some things that might seem like rudeness is just a product of not being able to hear clearly. Maybe someone hasn’t responded to your ‘excuse me’ in a crowded grocery store isle, or failed to give you space at the office coffee maker. Don’t assume that the person was being rude, but consider the fact that they might simply not have heard you.
People with Hearing Loss Still have a Voice
Just because you have hearing loss doesn’t mean you don’t have clear opinions, or that you can’t speak for yourself. At a restaurant, you wish your friends wouldn’t answer for you. You didn’t hear the waiter explain the daily specials, but you still care about what you’re going to eat for lunch, and you you’re your friends would repeat the menu, and allow you to speak for yourself.
Tips for Communicating with those with Hearing Loss
Another thing people with hearing loss are tired of explaining are a few simple tips that can really help with clear communication. Always face the person with hearing loss, and get their attention before speaking. This will insure that they’re primed and ready to listen when you start speaking, and won’t have to play a game of catch up, scrambling to piece together the meaning of what you said before they started listening. If the person 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 with hearing loss to read your facial expressions and body language to add context to what you’re saying.
Hearing Aids Aren’t the Same as Glasses
People who wear hearing aids can often hear clearly, and don’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. They don’t work from the moment you put them in your ears, and there is an adjustment period for someone to get used to their new devices.
Modern hearing technology is incredibly advanced, and can do many things automatically, but not all programs and setting adjust themselves, and you’ll have to select the appropriate program or change the settings to adapt to the listening environment. Hearing aids occasionally have difficulty differentiating between background sounds and important speech sounds and if someone speaks to you from behind, it’s possible your hearing aids won’t recognize 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.