Think about the way we hear for a few minutes. When an individual with normal hearing engages in conversation in a quiet, well-lit setting, visual information from the speaker’s face, along with other behavioral cues and language context, can make communication effortless. In contrast, because so much of our daily interactions occur in a “noisy” world, it becomes much more difficult to carry on a conversation or to give and receive information. A person with hearing loss may be able to function well in a less stimulated environment, but may not be able to communicate at all in a busy setting.
Because hearing loss tends to disrupt communication and to interfere with perception of meaningful environmental sounds, some individuals experience significant levels of distress as a result of their hearing problems. Some express embarrassment and self-criticism when they have difficulty understanding others or when they make perceptual errors. Others have difficulty accepting their condition and are unwilling to admit their hearing problems to others. Anger and frustration can occur when communication problems arise, and many people experience discouragement, guilt and stress related to their hearing loss. These negative reactions are also associated with reports of negative attitudes and uncooperative behaviors.
The good news is the sooner you treat hearing loss, the sooner you can overcome its adverse impacts and regain your confidence and enjoyment of life. Countless everyday activities – from talking on the phone to social gatherings to watching television with other people – become easier and more pleasurable.
Many people with a hearing loss wait to have their hearing tested and try a hearing solution. This may be because they believe their hearing isn’t bad enough, or they feel embarrassed about wearing a visible hearing device. Don’t let this be you! There are far more risks to not treating hearing loss. And as millions of people around the world have experienced, treating hearing loss transforms lives for the better. Whether it’s meeting new people, taking on a new project at work or starting a new hobby, treating hearing loss gives you the chance to reconnect to your life.
You are likely to notice if your hearing is getting worse. However, because hearing loss often occurs slowly over many years, it can be easy to grow accustomed to a poor level of hearing. Friends and family may be the first people to point out your reduced hearing. You may be compensating for your hearing loss by lip reading in noisy situations and turning up the volume on your TV or radio. You may believe other people are mumbling and have difficulty understanding conversations in groups of people when there is a lot of background noise
If you think you may have a hearing loss, visit a hearing specialist at Advanced ENT/HearMD to get your hearing checked. The sooner your hearing loss is treated, the sooner you can overcome professional and social limitations, enhance your language and listening skills, and improve your overall quality of life.
Join us for a FREE educational event on February 22, 2017 to learn more about hearing loss and its impact on your quality of life.