It’s Not Your Fault!
There’s a fascinating pattern of experiences and feelings that many people with hearing loss go through.
Denial. It starts with not being aware of having a hearing loss. Although this stage may be called “denial,” there are good reasons why people don’t realize they have a hearing loss.
Because hearing loss in adults usually happens very, very gradually, you don’t notice any change. Yes, it seems that people don’t speak as clearly as they used to, and listening in groups becomes a challenge.You may even blame the person who’s talking to you. And much of the time you are able to hear and understand just fine.
Acceptance. You realize and accept that you’re having some hearing difficulties. You decide to take positive steps to make your life—and the lives of everyone around you—easier. You get a hearing test, learn about the many choices available to you, and start using hearing aids. You’re hearing better, your family and friends don’t have to repeat themselves, and the television is at a normal level. Everyone’s happy.
It’s estimated that it takes about seven years to reach this stage of taking charge of your hearing!
Blame. Then an interesting thing happens. After this “honeymoon” period, when you become accustomed to hearing fairly well in all kinds of settings, you begin to pay more attention to those places that are still difficult. Some movies are hard to understand. Some television programs are a challenge. Sometimes you don’t understand the person on the phone (especially if he or she has an accent). And you blame yourself or you blame your hearing aids.
But just as it wasn’t fair to blame the people around you when you started having hearing loss, it’s not fair to blame yourself or your hearing aids when you don’t understand everything.
Obviously, even the most sophisticated hearing aids can’t allow you to hear better than people with normal hearing. And people with excellent hearing often have difficulty with movies and television, or understanding people who have accents. When traveling, does anyone understand the announcements in a train station or airport? Or the flight attendant’s safety instructions?
One of our jobs is to make sure that you’re hearing as well as possible—and that includes talking about places and settings that are difficult for you. We’re happy to review your hearing status and what you can do to minimize your hearing difficulties. But remember—it’s not your fault!
Copyright 2009 Hearing HealthCare News