My latest post for FindHearing.com talks about the importance of finding hearing loss peers. Thank you to all my readers for making this site a vibrant source of support and learning for people with hearing loss. See an excerpt of the piece below.
The Importance of Hearing Loss Peers
Like most people, I started my hearing loss journey alone. My father had hearing loss, but he never discussed it, instead living his adult life suffering with denial and stigma. He eventually isolated himself from his family and friends, leading a lonely life. When I first noticed my hearing loss in graduate school, I was terrified, assuming I was doomed to a life of solitude as well.
For many years, I followed in my father’s footsteps, hiding my hearing loss from all but my closest friends, but once I had children, this all changed. Since my hearing loss is genetic, I worried that I may have passed it onto them. I didn’t want them to see me feeling embarrassed by my hearing loss or disrupting my life to hide it. I needed to set a better example of how to thrive despite hearing loss.
To educate myself, I began volunteering at a local hearing loss non-profit organization. This helped me to meet other people with hearing loss and discover they were leading vibrant and fulfilling lives. They engaged in meaningful work and had active social calendars. I began to feel less alone and less afraid.
How To Find A Hearing Loss Support Group
Many hearing loss support groups exist — both actual and virtual. Hearing Loss Association of America runs the largest group in the United States, operating more than 100 local chapters and holding an annual convention each year.
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