Support is important for anyone facing a new challenge. Hearing loss is no different. Audiologists are often the first place people with hearing loss turn when searching for information about their condition. In my latest article for Ida Institute, I encourage audiologists to understand that the emotional aspects of hearing loss are equally important to treat. They can help do that by encouraging patients to seek out a hearing loss support group. I include an excerpt from the piece below. To read the full article click here.
Hearing Loss Can Be A Solitary Pursuit
Like most people, I began my hearing loss journey alone, weighed down with stigma and unsure how to best navigate the world with hearing aids. I didn’t know any other people with hearing loss that I could ask for guidance. My father, bogged down with stigma of his own, was no real help. I often felt like I was on my own with this huge challenge, increasingly disconnected from family and friends that did not understand my struggles. Once I found my way to a hearing loss support group, this all changed.
There, I met other people with hearing loss and realized that I was not alone. Many people suffered hearing loss exhaustion at the end of a long day of listening, found background noise debilitating and loud sounds painful. My hearing family never seemed to understand what I meant when I complained about those things.
Finding hearing loss peers showed me there was nothing shameful about hearing loss. I was amazed at the wonderful things other people with hearing loss were accomplishing in their lives. It gave me hope that I too could lead a dynamic and happy life despite my hearing loss.
Most importantly, I no longer felt alone with my hearing loss. I was now part of a community of people like me.
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