March 2, 2011

The Things You Miss With Hearing Loss

By Janet Liddicoat, Au.D., CCC-A
Audiology Consultants, P.C.

When a person has hearing loss, whether it is a mild or severe hearing loss, they are missing things in their everyday life – whether it is something like the timer on the microwave or their grandchild talking to them. Even if it is something small that you don’t notice you are missing, it can start to affect the quality of your life. When you don’t hear as well, you begin to socialize less and might start to avoid talking to people.

For those in the workplace, you don’t have the option of staying home and avoiding certain situations where you know you won’t hear as well. This can start to affect your ability to do your job, especially if communication with other people is a main part of your job. With hearing loss, you have to concentrate a lot more on what people are saying and are not always able to do two things at once anymore. Having to concentrate harder on people talking can make you feel more tired by the end of the day and even feel more stressed while at work and possibly at home.

Another concern about hearing loss is safety. Depending on the degree of hearing loss, some cannot hear sounds like cars approaching or fire alarms. Safety is a big issue with hearing loss. It cannot only be a concern of the person with hearing loss but also for their family members.

Even though a person with hearing loss thinks that they “Hear good enough,” their family or friends may think differently. It is not just the person with the hearing loss who misses things. Their family and friends may find it harder to communicate with those with hearing loss and may not call or visit as often because of it. In turn, they are missing out on visiting with those with the hearing loss. Communication requires at least two people. When one person cannot communicate as well, it does make it harder to have a conversation. More repetition of what is said and less understanding of what the conversation is actually about will start to occur.

Your audiologist may talk about all the new technology and “bells and whistles” of the hearing aids, but the most important thing is that the hearing aid will help with your quality of life. Whether it is visiting with family and friends, playing cards, at work with colleagues and customers or just at home with your spouse, the hearing aid will provide you with a way to communicate better and be able to go to those situations that you avoided earlier. Hearing aid use can reduce the emotional effects of hearing loss.

Your audiologist will also be able to help explain the new technology and how that hearing aid is going to help you in the areas you need it most. They can also provide you with communication strategies and talk with you and your family about making communication better for everyone.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness

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