If you think that you or a loved one are suffering from hearing loss, it can be difficult to come to terms with a new reality. While hearing loss can seem scary, there are many steps one can take to reduce the impact of the condition on one’s day to day life.
That being said, each year, too many people let their hearing loss go untreated rather than take the initiative to deal with their condition. If you suspect that you or a loved one have hearing loss, here are some dos and don’ts for moving toward a better quality of life.
Get your hearing checked. Many hearing healthcare professionals offer free or low-cost initial hearing screenings, which are the only definitive way to determine whether you do, indeed, have hearing loss. From here, your healthcare professional will work with you to determine what treatment options may be best for you moving forward.
Be upfront about your struggles. Especially if you have newly-developed hearing loss, it can be difficult to come to terms with your new condition. You may not be used to the frustration that comes with not being able to hear a conversation at a restaurant or the difficulties in hearing announcements on a busy train. If you need help, be sure to reach out to others so you can experience your environment to the fullest.
Understand that hearing loss is about more than just you. Especially if you let your hearing loss go untreated, it will have a substantial negative impact not only on your life but on those closest to you. Untreated hearing loss can make it difficult for others to communicate with you and can cause people to become reclusive and depressed.
Seek out support. In addition to getting the proper healthcare and treatment for their hearing loss, many people who develop hearing loss find that they struggle with mental health issues related to their new condition. There are a number of groups available that can provide the support you need to adjust to life with hearing loss.
Ignore your hearing loss. Untreated hearing loss can cause a whole host of further health issues. Perhaps most importantly, untreated hearing loss can have a severe impact on one’s mental health as it prevents people from fully interacting with others, especially in noisy or busy environments. People with untreated hearing loss are at a high risk for developing depression and other mental health issues as they feel more and more isolated front the world around them.
Isolate yourself. Many people with hearing loss feel a huge amount of anxiety about going out in public. While it may, at first, feel intimidating to have to deal with one’s hearing loss while out in a busy city, it is worse to stay at home and isolate oneself from the world. Friends and family can offer plentiful support for getting you back out and about after a hearing loss diagnosis.
Reject treatment. While everyone’s hearing loss is different and requires a personalized treatment plan, many people with hearing loss will eventually use hearing aids at some point during their lives. Although it may feel weird or stigmatizing to wear hearing aids, these devices have come a long way from their humble origins. Modern hearing aids come in a wide range of sizes and models to best suit each individual’s needs.
At the end of the day, hearing loss is a serious medical condition that requires appropriate support and guidance from a hearing healthcare professional. It can be difficult to navigate the world of hearing loss after an initial diagnosis but with time and treatment, many people find that they don’t miss out on life’s many joys, even with hearing loss.