September 8th, 2017
Understanding hearing loss
Living with hearing loss can be a lonely road, one of separation and isolation. So how can someone with perfect hearing try and understand the struggle of a friend or loved one who has lost his or her hearing?
Pause for a moment, right now and Listen. Hear the different sounds around you. Do you ever experience a moment of complete silence? Have you ever experienced absolutely nothing? The answer will most likely be no. You may hear a bird chirp or a siren in the distance, the house creaking, or your stomach rumbling. Sound is a constant way we connect to and experience the world around us.
Now, what if you took that sense away? Imagine all of those sound’s fading away leaving you in this empty void of silence. Hearing the rain on the roof of your car, the music coming from the stereo, or the voice of the person sitting next to is cut from the world. I get a little sad just thinking about it, but for many people this is a painful reality. Kindness, patience and empathy are needed on this long journey you will take with your loved ones and their hearing loss.
Today, with new developing technology we can bring ourselves closer together and find that human connection our loved ones are struggling to hold onto. There are Virtual Reality simulations where you can experience a played out scene that guides you through a virtual experience of what it would be like if you had lost your hearing. With films and TV finally making an effort to hire deaf actors and actresses we now see someone who suffers from hearing loss as a real person instead of a caricature. There is an infinite world of knowledge and support to help you understand your loved ones suffering. Hope is there.
Yet, making the decision to seek professional help can seem daunting, but it is important to obtain professional counseling from a certified audiologist directly. My office is always open for calls or appointments if you have questions about hearing loss. My team or myself would be happy to answer and ease any concerns you may have. Just remember to be gentle, be kind, and learn what you can to understand their condition, and know you do not have to do this alone.