The realization that you have hearing loss can come as a heavy blow. Although some people take this fact in stride and immediately seek assistance, many others have trouble coming to terms with the reality of hearing loss. Although they might have experienced situations in which it was difficult to hear, they move immediately to denying the possibility of hearing loss, shifting the blame onto environmental or social factors instead. Denial is a very common response to hearing loss, but it is often not the final step toward acceptance. If you are having trouble dealing with the complicated emotions associated with losing your hearing, the following tips can help you make the move from frustration, anger, or even rejection of the condition to true acceptance and optimism.
Communicate Your Experience and Your Feelings
One of the common mistakes when it comes to dealing with hearing loss is to keep it to yourself. Perhaps you don’t want to burden others or to let them think you are unable to care for yourself. You might even be afraid that hearing loss will be a burden to those you love, so you are hesitant to describe what you are going through. In fact, communicating your experience and your feelings can be beneficial both to you and to your loved ones. If you are experiencing hearing loss, it is most likely that your closest loved ones have already noticed, as well. They may be finding communication difficult, and they may be worried about you. If you have become frustrated with your inability to hear, the tension might be rising in your relationships, as well. Although your impulse to keep your experience and feelings to yourself might feel natural, you are likely doing more harm than good by allowing the breakdown of communication to continue. When you are ready, find a quiet moment to discuss hearing with your closest loved one or family. Simply opening up the discussion might be a relief to those who love you.
Get Support from the Community
Once you have admitted to yourself and your loved ones that you are experiencing hearing loss, the community offers resources that can help. Some services, such as closed captioning on the television and access to closer seats at public events, concerts, or religious meetings can be very helpful, and don’t be afraid to ask. In addition, there is a community of other people around you who are also experiencing hearing loss. Think of other people your age who also have gone through admitting to hearing loss. Perhaps many of them have hearing aids and are regular visitors to an audiologist or hearing specialist. You can enlist their help to seek out resources and to get advice. Even on a basic level, it is comforting to know that someone else is going through the same thing you are. You will likely appreciate the knowledge that you are not alone, and many others share your experience.
Know Your Options and Seek Treatment
With this information in hand, you will be well equipped to seek help for your hearing loss. Many options are available, and the hearing specialist or audiologist is the first line of recourse in familiarizing yourself with the solutions that are pertinent to your condition. You will want to schedule a hearing test and consultation as soon as possible, getting to know exactly what type of hearing loss you have and how it is likely to progress in the future. Once your hearing professional has assessed your condition, they will be able to offer the best advice regarding solutions for you. During your consultation, don’t hesitate to mention not only your experiences but also your feelings.
You can tell your hearing professional if you become anxious about upcoming social events that will require a lot of close communication or if you feel frustrated when children or adults with soft voices expect you to understand what they are saying. This information will be invaluable to the hearing specialist, making sure to supply you with the right solutions with the features that are customized to your needs. Coming to terms with your hearing loss will be much easier with the support of others and honest communication about how it makes you feel.
Pacific Northwest Audiology
If you suspect you may have a hearing loss, the first step is to call is at Pacific Northwest Audiology. Our friendly team is here to help you on the journey to better hearing. We look forward to hearing from you!