If you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss, you understand how difficult the emotional strain can be. It’s impossible to ever be fully prepared to deal with the mental stress, sadness, and lifestyle adjustments that accompany the loss of one of our senses. Many people who have endured hearing loss describe the experience as an evolution or journey with many twists and turns along the way. Some patients struggle to adapt to new technology in their lives, often learning to live with products such as a hearing aid. While no one can be expected to come to terms with such a devastating loss all at once, there are ways you can ease the transition.
If you are the spouse or parent of someone struggling with hearing loss, there are a few things you can do to help.
– Speak clearly, as sometimes talking louder can only make it more difficult for a person to understand you
– Face the person when you speak
– Turn off background noise
– Avoid distracting gestures
Unfortunately, the sadness of coping with hearing loss can sometimes turn into depression. Some studies suggest that parents of children with impaired hearing are especially at risk for becoming depressed. If you are afraid that you or your spouse might be suffering from depression, be aware of the following symptoms:
– Feelings of sadness or hopelessness
– Lack of interest in daily activities
– Sleep issues
– Constant fatigue
If you are beginning to have signs of hearing loss, don’t let them go untreated. An experienced audiologist can help determine the treatment that’s right for you, whether it’s a hearing aid, cochlear implant, or other medical referral.
Because living with impaired hearing isn’t easy, it’s important to remember to celebrate your successes, even the small ones. For example, parents of children with profound hearing damage often keep a journal as a helpful tool for marking the progress their children make as they learn to speak, sign, or adjust to products like a hearing aid. If you have any questions regarding coping with a loss of hearing, speak with your audiologist today.