Hearing loss is more common than you'd think. One in every 14 adults over the age of 29 has hearing loss. One in every six adults over the age of 41 have hearing loss that disrupts their way of life. After the age of 60, it steeply increases to three in every 10 people that cannot hear properly.
It can be really frustrating to try to function while struggling to clearly hear what is being said to you. Often, hearing loss goes undiagnosed, and just interrupts your quality of life. If you find yourself struggling to follow a conversation, especially if there is any background noise, you might have some degree of hearing loss. It's a good idea to schedule a visit with hearing consultants to identify your issue and get the help you need. Coping with hearing loss can be difficult; we've put together a list of ways to improve your quality of life:
Leverage Visual Cues
If you follow comic books at all, you know that many superheroes developed their powers as a way to compensate for a disability. Daredevil was blind. Professor X was bound to a wheelchair. Marvel characters Echo and Blue Ear found their greatest strengths through their inability to hear. The human brain is a powerful thing that is capable of compensating for a weakness in one area by becoming stronger in another.
Maybe your hearing loss won't give you telepathic abilities (or maybe it will!?), but if you struggle to hear adequately, your power of observation is likely stronger than the average Joe's.
Utilize your superpowers to read lips and follow body language to follow a conversation, you're probably better at it than people who can easily hear without trying.
Harness the Power of Technology
Depending on the extent of your hearing loss, your hearing consultant may recommend wearing a hearing aid on a daily basis. Even if you do not need the continual assistance of a hearing aid, you may find it helpful to implement simple assistive listening devices in your life.
There are assistive listening devices that attach to your cell phone and help you accurately pick up the words being said when you can't see the other person's mouth. There are assistive listening devices for TVs, so that you can keep the volume at an enjoyable range for everyone, but you are still able to follow the dialogue. There are assistive listening devices that interact with other assistive listening devices to make your way of life even easier. Your hearing consultant can help you decide what technology would best serve you in your particular state of hearing.
Get Involved in a Community for Others Just Like You
The thread that binds the hard of hearing is incredibly strong. Being around others who can't easily hear makes your ability to function far easier. When someone has the same struggles you have, they know to look directly at you while they speak. They also have difficulty following conversations with multiple people in a loud room, and help you avoid such situations. They like keeping closed captions on the TV, just like you. And likewise, the contribution you offer to others with hearing loss is highly valued. You can find others in your position through social networking groups or by contacting community organizations, especially those geared towards people with hearing loss.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help
A majority of the people around are going to be accepting of your situation and eager to help. In fact, a person who is intolerant of your hearing loss is the kind of person you don't want to be around anyways (and we know karma will deal with them generously).
Don't be shy about asking a person to repeat themselves if you care to understand what they just said. Many movie theaters offer closed captioning for hearing impaired viewers, you just have to ask. Never be afraid to ask if something could be adjusted to help you function better in a situation.
Do you have any questions about coping with hearing loss? We would love to talk to you about it! Please add a comment in the section below or contact us!
Dr. Hinkle did a very good job explaining his findings. He spent a lot of time explaining the devices and adapting them to my hearing deficiency. I am very satisfied with Dr. Hinkle’s' office services. Nice staff. Very nice medical help. I will remain his patient. Very satisfied.
In the past I advised my sister in law to see Dr. Hinkle. She did and was satisfied. I do not hesitate to recommend Dr. Hinkle's services."
- Dr. Raul Oviedo, M.D., Elkton, VA
I have been very happy their service, cooperation and cheerful attitude. I would highly recommend that a friend go to their office and let Dr. Hinkle and his staff talk them through ALL the steps they should follow. I know they will not be "high pressured" into doing something they don't need. I also would tell them: 'You will like these people.'"
— - Bill Blessing, Harrisonburg, VA
I am now on my second set of hearing aids and very pleased with the hearing aids and the support of Dr. Hinkle and his staff. Hearing aids are an experience but well worth the investment if you have a problem. You would be pleased with the services of Dr. Hinkle and his staff."
- Warren French Jr., Woodstock, VA