Understanding People with Hearing Loss

hearing impaired woman

Hearing conditions are most common with older adults, especially those who have health conditions, such as diabetes, stroke, or hypertension. When one has diabetes, either type A or B, it can cause damage to your nerves that can also affect many parts of the body—your kidneys, hands, feet, and even your ears. As it gets worse, extremely high blood sugar damages nerves and blood vessels in your inner and can lead to hearing loss.

Similar goes when you have hypertension or high blood pressure. Your blood vessels are damaged, including the ones that carry blood to the ears, thus can lead to hearing loss. If your hypertension doesn’t get treated in a matter of time, hearing loss can be permanent. If treated, your hearing can go back to normal.

Hearing loss can also be experienced because of accidents, brain injuries, or severe concussions. Different ear-related problems can result from a traumatic brain injury—hearing loss, dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus. It can cause damage to your auditory system, happening at any point between the outer ear and the auditory cortex in the brain.

Even a mild concussion can cause damage to one’s hearing. Some are treatable and, unfortunately, others are not. It can be a ruptured eardrum, bone injury within the middle ear, tissue and membrane damages in the inner ear, or an inefficient blood flow to the acoustic nerve—also known as cochlear nerve, which enables effective hearing.

Viruses and bacteria, cardiovascular disease, and brain tumors have the potential to damage one’s hearing as well.

As you must already know, while hearing loss is most common among older people, it can still affect anyone else, regardless of age. If you notice yourself having signs of hearing loss, or if you have someone in your family who has trouble keeping up with conversations, is to have it professionally checked. It can be just something mild, like an ear wax build-up, which can only be easily treated through a microsuction.

doctor explaining ear model

Understanding Someone with Hearing Loss

What normal people can’t understand is hearing loss is something that can change someone’s life and may take it too negatively. There can be difficult stages towards accepting their condition, the first one being a sense of shock.

Coping with hearing loss can make someone feel less of a person and alone. They deny or lie about their condition to their loved ones since they may not feel it’s all that important. Of course, they wouldn’t want their family to worry or make a big deal about it, as they’re still trying to accept it themselves. As they may lose confidence, they also may neglect it and refuse to get help.

The next stage can be feeling helplessness and anger. They can feel excluded and resentful. Knowing that their life has greatly changed makes them live in fear. Family meals and social gatherings can become dreadful to them. Moping about things they can no longer do, like listening to their favorite music and watching movies. Anger and denial introduce them to the resistance of acceptance.

Since the things they can do already become limited, they may isolate themselves and refuse to see anyone. It’s a way for them to cope and get rid of apprehending stressful situations. Even if they have someone by their side who knows about their condition and is willing to take care of them, they may feel a sense of pride and let themselves think that they’re a huge burden. Being dependent on someone who can give them details about every conversation may cause them to hate themselves.

Road to Acceptance

It may be a while to arrive at acceptance. While they cope with their condition, they can find themselves having a larger support group than they thought. May it be loving support from their family or involvement with an organization. Eventually, they will stop feeling sorry for themselves and have the goal of taking control of their life again.

They will gain back their confidence and start being open to sharing their hearing loss experience. With the support of people around them and gaining their self-confidence back, they have the motivation to move forward and only have control over things they can control.

There are always going to be people who are rude and inconsiderate. But once they reach acceptance, it wouldn’t affect them emotionally. Trying to understand people with this condition is exhausting so they should have time to take care of themselves and take a time-out.

While it may take a while to get used to a new lifestyle, what’s most matters is that they’re trying their best in adjusting. They can still prove that hearing loss doesn’t mean your life is over and you still have the chance to make your life better despite your condition.

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