Most things in life have duality. Yin and yang in Chinese philosophy. Up and down. Love and hate. Back and forth. And of course, hearing loss. In this Halloween themed article for Hearing Tracker, I discuss the ways my hearing loss is both a trick and a treat.
An excerpt from the article is below. To read the full post click here.
Hearing Loss as a Trick
It’s not too hard to list the ways that hearing loss makes life more challenging.
1. Communication takes work
When you have hearing loss, communication is like a game of Wheel of Fortune. Some of the letters are filled in, others are blank. We use speechreading, technology, repeats and other tools and strategies to help us fill in the gaps we miss. And still we are not finished, because then we need to reply! This listening effort uses incredible brain power and can lead to hearing loss exhaustion.
2. Hearing aids don’t work like glasses
Hearing aids are wonders of technology that make our lives better, but hearing aids don’t work like glasses. Hearing aids amplify sounds, but they don’t restore your hearing to “normal” in the way that glasses often do for vision. Hearing aids also have trouble differentiating among sounds so in a noisy space, everything is amplified—including the background noise we don’t want to hear. This can make it even more difficult to understand speech.
Read more tricks on Hearing Tracker.
Hearing Loss as a Treat
While calling hearing loss a treat is probably going too far, there are silver linings.
1. Meeting hearing loss peers
In our hearing loss documentary We Hear You, Holly Cohen says “The gift of hearing loss is meeting others I would not otherwise have met.” This is also true for me. My hearing loss peers have become trusted friends and an incredible support network for the ups and downs of my hearing loss life. These relationships have made my life richer.
2. Embracing the power of advocacy
My hearing loss has turned me into an advocate for better communication access. When I self-identify at a movie theater or on a webinar and ask for captions, I show others how society can help us hear. When we advocate for ourselves, we are advocating for others too. And when we unite behind a cause, we have incredible power to create positive change.
Read the full article on Hearing Tracker.