Coming to Terms with Your Hearing Loss
Although hearing loss affects millions of people, it can still come as a shock when you’re diagnosed with hearing loss. Even though there are plenty of ways to manage hearing loss, it’s still important to recognize the range of emotions that people can experience following a diagnosis.
For many people, coming to terms with hearing loss involves going through a number of different feelings. To learn more, take a look at the common feelings associated with hearing loss and find out how to navigate them:
Denial can last for days, weeks, months or even years, particularly if hearing loss occurs gradually. When someone has gradual-onset mild hearing loss, they may genuinely think they don’t have reduced hearing function. Instead, they’ll self-consciously adjust their habits to mitigate hearing loss, such as turning up the TV volume or speaking more loudly. When family members or friends advise them to consult a hearing instrument specialist (HIS), they may refuse on the grounds that ‘their hearing is fine’.
Even when a person’s hearing loss is clearly evident, they may continue to insist they can hear well. This may be because they’re embarrassed or ashamed of their hearing loss or because they feel trepidation about seeking medical help.
When hearing loss interferes with your day-to-day life, it can be extremely frustrating. If you can’t follow group conversations because you can’t hear what’s being said or you avoid using the phone because, even with the volume on max, you can’t hear the caller, it has a significant impact on your quality of life.
Additionally, undiagnosed hearing loss can put a strain on relationships, which can lead to frustration. Family members may become frustrated that you can’t hear them, especially if you don’t get your hearing tested, while you may find it frustrating that people seem unsympathetic.
As you come to terms with your hearing loss, it’s not unusual to feel confused. You may be unaware of the next steps to your diagnosis and treatment, which will typically involve discussing your hearing test results and learning about hearing aids. Your HIS will talk to you about the different options available to you and how each one may benefit your hearing loss differently. Luckily, with professional guidance, your confusion won’t last long.
When someone accepts that they have hearing loss, this could be their motivator to book an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist. Alternatively, they may decide to have their hearing tested and begin to accept their hearing loss once they receive a firm diagnosis.
For many people, accepting their hearing loss comes as a feeling of relief, especially if you’ve been in denial or feeling frustrated or sad for some time. Finally having a firm diagnosis and access to treatment is a positive step forward and brings you a step closer to improving your hearing function and your quality of life.
How can a hearing instrument specialist help?
A hearing instrument specialist can help you to come to terms with your hearing loss in a variety of ways. Firstly, they can carry out non-invasive hearing function tests to determine if you have hearing loss and, if so, what type. Following this, they will be able to provide advice and assistance regarding treatment options.
For many people, the most effective way to mitigate hearing loss is to wear a hearing aid. If this is the recommended course of action, your hearing instrument will work with you to help you find the best hearing aid for your needs.
They will take the time to explain how the different types of hearing aids work and show you examples of different styles. Additionally, your hearing instrument specialist will show you what features are available, how they work and explain the impact they can have on your everyday life.
When you’ve decided which hearing devices you’d like to use, your hearing instrument specialist will ensure they have the optimal settings, based on your diagnosis and prescription and that they’re comfortable to wear. Your HIS will also be available for questions, queries and adjustments if they’re required.
Accepting hearing loss
It can take people quite some time to come to terms with their hearing loss but, when they do, they’re typically much happier and enjoy life much more. To learn more or to arrange to talk to a hearing instrument specialist, contact The Hearing Guy at Asheville: (828) 820-2001 or Hendersonville: (828) 398-0978.