Hearing loss does not have to be your new normal
With the opening of our county to a green status we are hearing from Harrisburg that some of the changes we have experienced will become our “new normal” in social and commercial interactions for the foreseeable future.
We have heard that phrase so much in the last three months that it could seem normal to accept “new normal” as, well…normal. If you have hearing loss and have tolerated it for a long time, you may be tempted to think that hearing impairment is your new normal. It doesn’t have to be! Digital hearing aids can drastically improve your hearing ability to understand verbal communication that is happening all around you. Maybe you have adapted to your hearing loss by asking people to repeat themselves, lip reading, or even just by withdrawing from conversations. It doesn’t have to be normal for you not to hear properly.
As long as you accept hearing impairment you will never know the joy of hearing better. Improvement starts with a very simple test by a licensed hearing professional. That test will generate a chart that will show you the degree of hearing loss. Then a conversation can take place with that professional about which hearing aidswould bring back your hearing. Prices and fees vary a great deal from clinic to clinic so do some homework and call around to get that very important information.
Did you know that denial is the number one reason why patients delay getting the help they need? “The old saying “ignorance is bliss” obviously wasn’t said by someone with hearing loss. For me, nothing could be further from the truth. It should be perfectly obvious that if something is wrong, it makes good sense to fix it. Unfortunately for many people over 50, this just doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to their hearing. Hearing loss denial is a real thing.” (Hearlikeme.com)
Eyesight fading? No problem, see your local optician. Feeling ill or find yourself stuck with a stubborn pain? See your doctor. Why? Because it’s the sensible thing to do, of course.
However, for some odd reason, this kind of thinking doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to hearing loss. For many older people, there is something about major life changes that can seem to require too much effort for not enough reward. Unfortunately, hearing loss and deafness can all too easily fall into this category.
The thing is, there seems to be no end of easy ways to deflect attention when hearing, or rather the lack thereof, is mentioned. Often a joke works well to move the spotlight away from the actual issue itself. However, “everyone mumbles these days,” is wearing just a little bit thin. Even the expression, “I turn a deaf ear to them,” is an easy method of avoidance. What is hard to deny is the stress caused by knowing that there is a problem and ignoring it as though it didn’t exist.
Denying to others is one thing. When it comes to ourselves, that is a different matter. When it comes to your senses, you know if something is wrong. Whether it’s your eyes or your ears, it doesn’t take long before denial only works when you have an audience. Deafness when untreated can be a very lonely experience.
It’s like being forced to live inside a clear box which you can see out of perfectly, but not clearly understand the sounds which reach you from outside. In fact, health risks of hearing loss can include headaches, muscle tension, and increased stress and blood pressure levels. Some studies have even linkedhearing loss to depression, fatigue, social withdrawal, and impaired memory.
Sometimes older people consider that since they have managed to get by for so long that it really isn’t worth the bother to make changes. Of course, what doesn’t help is that those little tricks, ploys, and dodges work well. Facing the reasons behind hearing loss denial is really the magic key. It will unlock the freedom which diagnosis can truly bring. Yes, it may feel as you’re stepping out from behind a very thick and safe wall. But facing reality means you’ll have a future worth fighting for, and it starts by knowing that your hearing loss is not your new normal.
If you have the symptoms of hearing loss let a professional help you find out why. The hearing professional will help you sort out the technology level to meet your need, your budget, and answer your hearing need questions.
Jeffrey L. Bayliff, NBC-HIS is Owner of Hear the Birds Hearing Aid Center, Lock Haven, PA