Emotional stages of hearing loss

hearing loss emotional stagesIt takes time to overcome the emotional process involved when you’re dealing with hearing loss. To avoid alienating yourself from loved ones and social situations, it is important to address your symptoms of hearing loss as early as possible.

If you or your loved one is struggling with hearing loss, contact the doctoral-level professionals at Associated Audiologists.

To understand how to address hearing loss, you must understand the emotional stages involved:

#1: Denial of hearing loss

When an individual’s hearing declines, they will try to alter their environment to accommodate their hearing loss. They may max out the volume on the TV and radio or continuously ask friends and family to repeat themselves in conversation.

The individual denies that the problem is on their end. They may accuse people of mumbling, talking too quietly, or talking too fast. These accusations can put a great deal of strain on a relationship.

#2: Withdrawing from loved ones and social situations

Hearing loss often influences a person to avoid taking part in social gatherings and situations. They may not feel comfortable in their own ability to decipher what people are saying to them, or they feel like there’s no point to engage in social situations because they can’t hear.

When a person regularly avoids social situations or refuses to answer the telephone, their friendships and relationships begin to deteriorate. People may take it personally that this individual doesn’t want to hang out with them or attend their get-togethers.

#3: Anger and resentment for hearing loss

An individual may become angry about their hearing loss and inability to do the things they used to. It can be frustrating to always ask for clarification from someone during conversation. They may become less tolerant of people making comments or drawing attention to their hearing loss. If the anger is persistent, the individual may become hard to be around.

#4: Hearing loss can lead to depression

Low self-esteem, loss of friends, inability to attend social events, and constant need of repetition can develop into depression. The individual may pull away from their friends and family and isolate to avoid bothering anyone about speaking up or clarifying their words. This isolation can take a toll on their mental health, because they are stuck with their own thoughts, which can easily influence their behavior and perception of things around them.

#5: Acceptance of the circumstances

During this stage, the individual has come to terms with their hearing loss and expresses a desire to seek treatment. They may begin exploring the possibility of hearing aids or treatment options and how this could impact their life.

The next step: retraining the brain to hear

When the individual starts wearing hearing aids, they will experience many sounds that previously went unheard. Rattling papers, the air conditioning hum, and the ceiling fan all produce noises that may seem unfamiliar to them at first. The brain will need time to adjust to these “new” noises so it can decide which noises belong in the background.

The hearing aids might provide a positive new outlook on life. The ability to hear is often taken for granted, so regaining the ability to hear loved ones and partake in social situations will greatly increase the individual’s quality of life.

Are your symptoms of hearing loss affecting your day-to-day life or livelihood? Associated Audiologists has doctoral-level audiologists who can help. Contact us today to talk about your treatment options and how we can treat your hearing loss.