Hearing is one major way we make sense of everything around us. It allows us to communicate with others, participate in our favorite activities, and perform daily tasks with ease. You may not even realize just how integral hearing is to how you live your life until your ability to hear is impaired. Hearing loss is a common health concern that millions of people are dealing with today. Navigating hearing loss is difficult as everything you once did without having to think twice about it, becomes increasingly challenging. Having conversations with family and friends, watching television, listening to music, and managing your responsibilities at work can feel extra tasking and burdensome.
This can take a deep emotional toll, impacting your overall wellbeing and happiness. As you try and cope with your changing hearing ability, you may feel a range of emotions including:
Denial: hearing loss often happens gradually which means that you may not fully realize that your hearing is declining. There are several symptoms of hearing impairment including: increasing the volume on your devices, struggling to keep up with conversations, hearing better in one ear versus the other, and asking others to repeat themselves. You may not be associating these realities with impaired hearing or you simply do not want to accept that this is happening to you.
Anger/Frustration: following conversations becomes difficult. You may not hear distinct words and parts of the conversation can seem muffled resulting in missing part(s) of the conversation. This can cause you to work overtime in trying to hear clearly – reading mouths, asking others to speak loudly, thinking about how you are going to respond etc. Having conversations, which is part of everyday life, can feel like more work than pleasure which is frustrating.
Isolation: engaging with others may feel draining and leave you exhausted. It may feel like it requires too much energy so you avoid social activities, gatherings, and environments. This can lead to spending less time with your family, friends, and doing the things that you one enjoyed doing. Withdrawing from social life and isolating yourself in this way can significantly impact your mental health.
It is common to experience these feelings. Coming to terms with hearing loss can be tough and change is hard to grapple with. It is important to remember that you are not alone in navigating this and that there is effective treatment available for you!
Steps You Can Take
Feel your feelings: it is so important to be aware of your feelings. Hiding what you are going through or being in denial of the changes that are happening will only deepen negative emotions. Avoidance can worsen your hearing impairment and continue to impact all aspects of your life. Accepting what you are experiencing is a crucial step in seeking treatment and improving your health. It is important to share this with the people in your life which can actually help communication and improve relationships.
Be aware of your options: because hearing loss is such a common health concern, there is a lot of information and resources available to help you best navigate. We highly encourage you to schedule an appointment to receive a hearing test. This noninvasive process will determine the degree and type of hearing loss you are experiencing. During this appointment, a hearing healthcare provider will discuss most effective treatment options. It is important to also use this time to ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have. Our hearing specialists are here to share their expertise with you!
Treatment: fortunately, there are several useful ways hearing impairment is treated. The most common treatment is hearing aids. With today’s innovative technology, hearing aids are more advanced and wide-ranging. They can be customized to meet your specific hearing needs. Hearing aids absorb, amplify, and process sound helping you to hear better.
Accepting hearing loss is not easy. Taking the time to process and be aware of what you are experiencing is challenging and also critical. Improving your hearing is possible! Treating your hearing impairment can allow you to participate more fully in conversations and move through your daily life with greater ease. This can strengthen your overall health and significantly improve the quality of your life!