It is not just a hearing loss!
Hearing loss is NOT just a hearing loss. It leads to many more problems than one can ever imagine. It leads to miscommunication amongst family members and friends, inability to participate in meetings or group conversations which eventually leads to embarrassment and isolation of the affected person both at home and at the workplace.
It is important to note that a person with hearing loss would regularly withdraw himself or remain silent in conversations amongst family members or friends as he is not able to understand speech clearly. More often than not, hearing loss becomes a frustrating problem for the people surrounding the affected person as they are unable to communicate with him. It can be even more dangerous for the hearing impaired person if important sounds such as warning alarms and traffic horns are not heard. Many a times, hearing loss results in the affected person inadvertently keeping the Television volume very high. Such a volume results in making the other family members in the house uncomfortable. This in turn leads to fissures amongst family members. The next important problem is that hearing loss leads to the affected person not being able to hear telephone conversations clearly. This results in not being able to communicate to loved ones living far away, which in turn leads to isolation and irritable behaviour. It is important to know that person with hearing loss do not hear their own voices and therefore inadvertently raise their voices to speak to others. This leads to loss of privacy in conversations. This is more so in telephone conversations, when the affected person would speak in a very loud voice.
The latest medical research point out that hearing loss results in diminished conscious mental activities such as thinking, understanding, learning and remembering thereby ultimately resulting in dementia. Many medical research point out that dizziness, vertigo and imbalance amongst adult and geriatric population could be the result of hearing loss.
Therefore, please do not ignore hearing loss as “ITS JUST A HEARING LOSS”. Make sure you are able to detect the hearing loss symptoms in your loved ones and bringing him or her to a qualified clinical audiologist at the soonest possible time.
Be prepared for Denial
The reason hearing loss is more complicated to treat than sight impairment is because when a person is affected with sight impairment, he is the first person to know that there is some problem with his vision and he would tell his loved ones that he has a problem. However when a person is affected with hearing impairment, it is not the person himself but the loved ones around him who would recognise that he has a hearing problem. More often we tend to believe ourselves and not others.
If you experience your loved one showing some symptoms of a hearing loss, chances are that they are going to deny that they are not hearing clearly and may even counter react by saying that you are mumbling or not speaking clearly. The first time you talk to your loved one about hearing loss, chances are that he or she is NOT going to immediately respond positively to meeting an audiologist. The primary reason is that most often hearing loss is slow to progress and because of the incremental nature in which it progresses, it would be very difficult for oneself to understand that his or her hearing is diminishing. The realisation that they may have a hearing loss may come as a rude shock to many. So be prepared for some levels of rejection. The only job as a loved one a person has is to convince him or her to meet a qualified audiologist. It is the job of the audiologist to access, counsel and convince your loved one about hearing loss and solutions to it.
What’s the solution?
Less than 10% of hearing loss can be corrected medically or surgically, whereas 95% of hearing loss can be managed effectively with today’s innovative hearing aids. We need to emphasize that hearing aids create a supportive and creative environment to hear better and have a better quality of life. It is of course nothing like having your own ears to hear but today’s technology has made our lives much more worthwhile living than to face the negatives such as isolation, embarrassment and inferior complex. In case your loved ones do not like wearing hearing aids that are visible to others, modern technology has made 100% invisible hearing aids a possibility.