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Losing your hearing is a physical issue, but many people have trouble coming to grips with that in an emotional way. At Desert Valley Audiology, we understand, and our friendly team is committed to helping you get over what you perceive as challenges to dealing with and correcting your hearing loss.
You may feel depressed, angry, frustrated or helpless and these are all emotions that others have also felt. They are normal, but you need to confront these feeling and we will help you get through this and back on the better hearing path. Here are some other suggestions to help you bridge the gap to accepting and getting help for your hearing loss.
Face Your Fears
One audiologist equates hearing loss as the loss of a loved one. “It’s a death of a part of an individual,” says Dr. Angela Nelson, a California audiologist. “[You have] to move through the grief process.” You may need to reach out to friends and family for help and you may need to discuss your feelings with a therapist.
“A good support system is essential,” says Aaron Moberly, a doctor with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Moberly says adults who get hearing aids have to learn to hear through the devices and that may take a little time for some.
It will take longer to get used to the hearing aids if you wait to get hearing issues corrected. The average adult lives with hearing loss for about seven years before they accept the problem and get treatment.
Make Communication Easier
If you have a loved one with a hearing issue there are some things you can do to help them out.
*Be aware of background noises like the television or dishwasher. You may be used to the background noise, but a hearing-impaired person has difficulty filtering conversational tones from background noise.
*Say the person’s name before you start talking to get their attention and help them focus.
*Speak slowly and clearly – and don’t shout. Raising your voice can distort the sound and it also will mask the normal visual cues a person could get from watching you speak in a normal tone.
*Face the person you are talking to so they can watch your facial cues and hand gestures.
*Conversation will be easier in a lighted, quiet area.
*Don’t be angry. The individual with hearing loss may be angry they can’t hear and angry people are asking them to turn down the volume on the television and angry they are being told to go to the doctor. Anger is normal both for the individual with hearing loss and other family members who think they may be being ignored because the individual can’t hear them.
You’ve Got Options
Our professional team at Desert Valley Audiology can go through your options and share resources with you when you make an appointment for a hearing evaluation. You might also consider support groups in your area.
Not getting your hearing treated means closing off some of your avenues of communication. Untreated hearing loss can lead to isolation and depression and it can have a negative effect on family dynamics.
If you have a loved one that is avoiding treatment, you might want to talk to them about what they are missing out on in life. It is hard to force a person to change and it may take some gentle persuasion and, of course, you are always welcome to accompany them to Desert Valley Audiology. Sometimes having a support person with them is what they need to take that step to getting hearing help.
Remember, some people adjust to hearing aids quickly and some need more time. If a loved one or family member comes home with hearing devices, you need to realize they won’t immediately be back the way they were before they began experiencing hearing loss. The brain needs to re-adjust to sound processing and for each individual, the adjustment time varies.
Desert Valley Audiology
Put aside the negative emotions surrounding hearing loss and empower yourself by seeking treatment. You will be amazed at what technology has added to the hearing devices that are now available. And, at Desert Valley Audiology we stay abreast of the technological advancement and we can help you with a model that will do what you need and fit your lifestyle.