Hearing loss is a complex issue that can affect a person’s emotions and daily life in a profound way. It’s not only difficult for the person affected, but can be very challenging for family members and friends who don’t understand what the person might be going through.
Hearing loss can be hard to face. Contact our doctoral-level audiologists today to find out how we can help you get the treatment you deserve.
Although the way a person deals with hearing loss is very individual, it’s common to see these reactions as a person works through the loss in their own way.
#1: Loss of the desire to be outgoing or social
Talking to a group of friends, speaking at a professional function, or simply listening to others in a crowded place can be extremely challenging when you can’t hear well. Not only is it difficult to hear what others are saying, but speaking can become difficult when you can’t hear your own voice as clearly. Other people may also feel uncomfortable or awkward when they ask you a question and don’t get a response, simply because you had no idea they were even talking to you.
Over time, this often leads to frustration and embarrassment for the person affected by hearing loss, and they may start to avoid social situations. This can lead to social isolation and even depression.
A person’s loved ones may not realize that their social avoidance is directly related to hearing loss. They may think the person just doesn’t want to have fun anymore, that they’re tired, or they’re just being “antisocial.”
#2: Excuses for — and denial of — the issue
When a person experiences hearing loss, they may deny they have a problem for months or even years. This is a completely normal response when someone doesn’t want to accept the loss of their hearing. Unfortunately, this denial often leads to more issues and can stand in the way of proper treatment.
A person who denies their hearing loss may blame it on external factors. For instance, they may tell others they are mumbling. They may deny that they didn’t hear something, saying they were “just thinking.” Or, they may say they simply like having the television or radio up loud when others comment on the volume.
The longer someone denies their hearing loss, the more likely they will experience problems with their physical, emotional, and social well-being. Sometimes it takes a trusted loved one to approach the person and talk with them about getting their hearing tested.
#3: Blame and avoidance of communication
When someone can’t hear, they may project anger or frustration onto those closest to them. They may immediately point the finger at others for not talking loudly enough during discussions. Communication can suffer and conversations become difficult, so the person may just avoid talking whenever possible.
These reactions can be particularly worrisome for spouses, children, and other close family members who see a change in the person’s interactions and personality.
If you see these reactions in yourself or a loved one, help is available. The doctoral-level professionals at Associated Audiologists can help you learn about hearing loss testing and treatment options. Request an appointment today!