Hearing Loss: Separated in Silence
Hearing loss can be a difficult beast. 1 in 8 people in the United States (30 million) over the age of 12 experience significant hearing loss in both ears. However only 1 in 6 (5 million) of those that could benefit, are wearing hearing aids.
Contrast that to vision impairment. 75% of the adult population in the United States wear some form of vision correction (glasses and contacts). They are getting the help they need.
People with hearing loss however, are suffering in silence... literally and figuratively.
“Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people."Helen Keller
Hearing Impairment's Effect on Relationships
I understand what's it's like to have difficulty communicating with others.
What I've felt around others, during my experience with severe hearing loss (90 to 100 dB loss at high frequencies), has been similar to:
- Asking people to repeat themselves 3 times and still not hearing them.
- Mishearing someone and responding back in the wrong context, which can be embarrassing at times.
- Shy away from noisy social environments and functions since I have trouble participating.
- Get anxious when needed to perform in a social business capacity (meetings, conference calls, etc.)
- Feel exhausted after straining to hear in social settings for long periods of time.
It can take its toll but my hearing aids have definitely helped my functioning in the above situations.
It's definitely not perfect but worlds better than when I was without hearing aids - and you generally don't know what you're missing if you don't get the help you need.
Hearing loss can creep up on you gradually. It can be hard to tell if others are mumbling or having the same difficulty as you hearing things.