Acknowledging the Reality of Hearing Loss

Do you suspect you have hearing loss? Do you struggle to hear more than most people in noisy environments or find yourself confused over the phone? The first signs of hearing loss often start subtly, and it’s far too easy to ignore or deny them. Many fear that admitting they have hearing loss may make them seem old or helpless. Meanwhile, others are avoidant simply of the added cost. However, acknowledging the reality of hearing loss is the first step to a better life where you are more alert and able to build a better life for yourself and the people you love.

Why we avoid confronting hearing loss

It’s estimated that most people wait, on average, seven to ten years from the time they suspect they have a hearing loss until it gets severe enough to act and schedule a hearing exam. As stated before, many people simply live in denial due to an avoidant nature when it comes to health issues. They may not want to admit that their health is declining or that they are growing older. We believe shifting the narrative around hearing loss as a sign of weakness is one of the greatest things we can do as a society to reduce the growing number of people of all ages living with unaddressed hearing loss. Asking for help around hearing loss and acting must be viewed as a source of pride and power as we take our health proactively into our own hands.

The impact of unaddressed hearing loss

For those who wait close to a decade or more to address a hearing loss is that even in its early stages, hearing loss can build up into serious rifts in your relationships at home and at work. You may struggle to connect to your significant other, your family members, and your friends. This can build up into feelings of loneliness, depression, and social anxiety, even when surrounded by those you love the most. 

In the workplace, putting off a hearing loss can actually add up into loss of earnings or even unemployment. While hearing loss is a recognized disability under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) it takes being open about your hearing loss to receive the protections and accommodations you deserve. Miscommunications and mistakes add up when your ability to communicate is diminished, leading to less opportunity for promotions and raises. According to the Hearing Health Foundation, “people with severe hearing loss have an unemployment rate (15.6%) twice that of the average hearing population (7.8%) and almost double that of their peers (8.3%) who use hearing aids.”

 How Hearing Aids Can Help

It’s important to note the end of this statistic. While hearing loss is permanent, hearing aids can make a huge difference. Workers who use hearing aids can enjoy the same playing field as those with normal hearing. Hearing aids continue to lead the way in miniaturization and digital amplification, making it easier for you to hear the people in your life. Advancements in hearing aids are now making it increasingly easy to hear in noisy settings and enjoy TV and smartphone connectivity as well as public performances.

Access new opportunities with enhanced hearing

Once you’ve decided on acknowledging the reality of hearing loss, it can feel like a whole new world opens up! You are no longer pretending to hear the people in your life and feeling confused throughout the day. Instead, you can feel poised and ready to listen to what people in your life have to say. You may be more inclined to try new things, go new places, and take up that hobby or workout routine that you’ve felt reluctant to try before.

Practice asking for help

While hearing aids can help, they can’t completely reverse your hearing loss 100 percent. There still may be instances where you need to ask people for help. Normalize asking people to modify how they communicate. Many people find that maintaining eye contact and speaking a bit slower while enunciating words can make a big difference when trying to communicate. Remember that once you acknowledge the reality of hearing loss, it may not even be such a big deal to ask someone to repeat themselves or ask for help.

You can start today

Ready to experience the rest of your life with better hearing? The first step is to reach out today and schedule a hearing exam!