There is more than just the physical aspect to navigate when it comes to hearing loss or problems. Many emotions are felt whenever we lose something as precious as our hearing. Anger, sadness, grief, and frustration are among the feelings a patient might go through. Even though it may not be pleasant, all of this is normal and needs to be felt. With the right tools and help, hearing impairment can be navigated well, however. Here are some tips to help yourself or someone you love.
Let Yourself Feel any Emotions that Come Up
It’s important to allow any feelings to come through when experiencing a trauma or loss. Hiding them or beating yourself up for feeling angry or sad won’t help the situation. In fact, this can actually make things worse by increasing the chance of experiencing depression or anxiety. Instead, try to give yourself time to grieve any loss and feel emotions as they arise. Find healthful ways to release anger and frustration.
If someone has said, ‘it could be worse,’ to you, understand that most people don’t know what to say to those who have experienced things like hearing loss. They mean well, but it really isn’t helpful. Keep this in mind if you have a loved one who is going through this situation.
Communicate with Others
Understand, you or your loved one won’t get used to hearing loss overnight. It will take a little while to find balance and change things to assist in the new journey. In the meantime, communication is a necessary part of success. Others will also want to be able to communicate with you the best they can. And while hearing loss doesn’t usually happen overnight, it might feel final. Here are some tips to communicate better.
- Turn down the TV or the radio if you have any background noise; it can make the conversation seem muddy.
- Ask people to talk at a slightly slower pace to allow time for the sentence to be processed
- Often people who feel like their hearing is in decline will learn to lip read, so ask people to face you when they are talking so that you can see the shape of their mouth when they are talking.
Know Your Options
You do have options with hearing loss. Your doctor will fill you in on the latest technologies and programs, of course. You may be considering a cochlear implant or a hearing aid. And there are benefits to both. I recommend weighing your options carefully with your health care team and your loved ones. Click here for more information on the differences.
You might also consider joining a support group in your area. Listening to and sharing with other people going through the same thing will cultivate positive emotions and help with isolation. Furthermore, it may also give you a new sense of purpose when your story helps someone else.
Don’t Ignore It
If you know your hearing has changed and is getting worse, don’t ignore it. The sooner that you seek help, the more likely preventative measures can be taken. Protecting the hearing you still have should become a priority.