How To Parent When You Have Hearing Loss

“Remember to face me when you talk to me.” “Can you speak a little bit slower?” “Please move your hands away from your mouth.” “Come here if you need to talk to me, I can’t hear you in another room.” “If I can’t see you, I can’t hear you.”

I sound like a broken record, even to myself. But what is my alternative? I need to teach my children how to speak to me so I can hear them. It’s not an easy task.

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With Hearing Loss, The First Step Is Acceptance

Hearing loss does not discriminate. It impacts people of all ages, races, creeds, and phases of life. It can be caused genetically, or from excess noise, or from ototoxic drugs. Sometimes it happens suddenly. Other times it sneaks up gradually as part of the aging process. But one thing is true for all — hearing loss will affect your life. The degree and type of impact is partially up to you.

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How To Survive & Thrive at Thanksgiving Dinner When You Have Hearing Loss

It’s that time of year again — Thanksgiving — so it is time for our annual Thanksgiving Post. Please enjoy this oldie but goodie from the archives. The points are as relevant as ever. I hope this helps you make the most of your upcoming holiday celebration. Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays — you get to eat, you get to spend time with family, and the leftovers are always a treat. But as my hearing loss has worsened over the years, I sometimes worry how it will all go. Will I be able to follow the conversation at the table? Will I be discounted because I can’t participate like I have in the past? Rather than wallow in fear, I put together these tips for tackling Thanksgiving dinner with a hearing loss. I hope they help you approach the holiday with more joy and less fear.

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Does Hearing Loss Cause Vertigo?

Once in a while I wake up in the morning and I know something is not right. My tinnitus is wailing, my head is woozy and the room is spinning. It’s going to be one of those days. Whenever this occurs (probably 2 or 3 times a year) I wonder if I have a form of Meniere’s disease. Vertigo is one of its primary symptoms. My doctors tell me “no” since my hearing loss does not fluctuate during these episodes, but I wonder. The good news is that my bouts are few and far between. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.

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Erasing My Hearing Loss Mistakes

I grew up thinking hearing loss was shameful, something to be hidden and never discussed. I learned this from my father, who had hearing loss. So did his mother. It was genetic, and he passed it onto me, along with the stigma. I needed to accept my hearing loss to break the cycle for my children.

“Don’t worry,” my mother would say with a dismissive wave of her hand as my sister and I would glance over at my father, “he can’t hear us.” As young children, we thought this was mean, but didn’t dwell on it, preferring to continue our “secret” talks with our mother. We learned to exclude my father because of his hearing loss and to use his issue to our advantage in plotting shopping trips or the like. Thinking back on it, I am appalled.

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