Getting diagnosed with anything can be uncomfortable and overwhelming, and hearing loss is no exception to that. Seeing as it’s a lifelong condition that may not be easily treatable, many patients don’t know how to react when they first receive the news. We asked our Facebook fans to weigh in with words of wisdom for newcomers to the hearing loss community.
Join a Support Group
Ignore the stigmas about support groups – they are a very empowering and effective way of coping with a hearing condition. Cynthia D. said Better Hearing Australia “did wonders for [my] confidence whilst teaching [me] lip reading skills.” If no formal groups exist within your area, we suggest talking to your audiologist about putting you in touch with other patients who may be willing to chat you through their own experiences.
Invest in the Tech
Rae M. suggests getting a hearing aid sooner versus putting it off, as she noticed an instant boost in her lifestyle and mood. “The world may seem a bit loud after not hearing anything properly for a while, but muffled sound and incomprehensible speech is much worse.”
Make others Aware
Helping others understand hearing loss is half the battle, as those who aren’t affected by it don’t always express much empathy towards it. While insensitivity is typically not intentional, people may get frustrated having to repeat themselves, adjust volume for you, etc. Cheryl M. says it’s best to make people aware of your condition straightaway, and she has the words “Hearing Disabled” on her nametag at work. “It makes my life so much easier for both me and the customers. A lot of times they’ll have questions, and sometimes people even open up that they have hearing loss, too!”
Keep things in Perspective
While it’s easy to get frustrated or down on your condition, Jay M. says he always considers those who have much more serious health concerns, and it no longer makes his hearing seem so bad or hard to live with.