Losing your hearing can be a frightening thing at first. It can mean different things to different people, and it can affect your life in a variety of ways. If you find out that you are losing some or perhaps even all of your hearing, it can be a struggle to cope with. However, with the right methods for coping with hearing loss, it can soon become part of your everyday life and your identity. Your audiologist or ENT can help you with many of the medical aspects of losing your hearing, and discuss what you can do to manage your hearing loss. Here are some of the other things you might do.
Understand What’s Happening
When something about you is changing, it can be scary. One of the things that can make it less frightening is to improve your understanding of what is happening and why. When you know how your ears work, why you’re not able to hear as well as you once did and whether it’s going to get any worse, you can remove the unknowns and understand what awaits you in the future. As well as learning about some of the medical aspects, it’s also a good idea to take some time to understand how it can affect you emotionally.
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Find Aids That Work for You
If you are losing your hearing, there are various methods you can use to cope with it and to ensure you can continue to communicate with people. Many people find that hearing aids are useful for improving their hearing. There are various styles of hearing aids, which are suitable for different levels of hearing loss. Some of them are worn behind the ear or sit just in the ear, while others go inside the ear canal. You might also try to learn to lip read, although this isn’t a very accurate way of knowing what people are saying. Some people also learn sign language, especially if they have higher levels of hearing loss.
Join a Community
There are many other people who are deaf or hard of hearing who know what it’s like to lose your hearing or who have never had perfect hearing. In fact, there is a large Deaf community and many people see being deaf or hard of hearing (HoH) as a significant part of their identity. You can find various ways to join a community and find other people who share the same experiences as you.
Be Open with Others
Many people can feel the need to hide their hearing loss from friends, family and others. However, this is ultimately not going to help you and could simply lead to you missing out on many things. By being open about your hearing loss, especially with family and friends, they can take your hearing loss into account and help you when possible. You can share with them the things that they can do to make things easier for you, such as facing you when they’re talking or choosing restaurants and other places with less background noise.
Hearing loss can make you feel lonely, but there is plenty of support out there to help you cope with the change.