Hearing Loss: Why Audiologists Should Recommend Peer Support

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.

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Living With Hearing Loss: Top Ten Posts of 2019

It’s that time of year again — time to look back and remember the highlights of the past year, and make plans for the upcoming year. Many of 2019’s most popular posts on Living With Hearing Loss centered on the ways hearing loss impacts more than just the individual with hearing loss, but also the person’s family and friends. Some posts suggested ways that family and friends could help support those of us with hearing loss, while others discussed ways that we as people with hearing loss can get more comfortable asking for the help we need. The bottom line: Hearing loss is a team sport.

Thank you to all my readers for helping create this wonderful and encouraging hearing loss community. I appreciate you adding to the discussion with your comments and suggestions and for sharing support for one another. Here’s to more of the same in 2020.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

I am taking next week off, but will be back in January with more posts. In the meantime, please enjoy the 10 most popular articles of 2019.

Top 10 Living With Hearing Loss Posts of 2019

  1. A Head Cold + Hearing Loss = A Perfect Storm
  2. Five Things I Wish Everyone Knew About Hearing Loss
  3. Hearing Loss: When Dinner is A Disaster
  4. Seven Ways You Can Make Life Easier For Someone With Hearing Loss 
  5. Does Your Tinnitus Worsen in the Winter
  6. When Your Hearing Aid Settings Are Just Wrong
  7. What My Hearing Loss Has Taught Me
  8. You CAN Go to the Movies When You Have Hearing Loss
  9. How To Love Someone With Hearing Loss
  10. Do You Hear Better in the Morning?

Readers, what was your favorite post of the year?

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Hearing Loss: Sometimes You Just Have to Leave the Party

The music was blaring. People were covering their ears. I had turned my hearing aids off but could still feel the bass reverberating through my body. Why did anybody think this would be a good setting for a reunion of board members — most of them in their 50s and 60s? I wasn’t sure, but most people were just trying to survive — shouting to one another to be heard or attempting to move to a quieter spot for discussion. Some danced rather than make any attempt at conversation or just focused on eating in silence.

I was miserable. I couldn’t effectively converse with anyone — lipreading can only take you so far, and I kept worrying if the constant noise was further damaging my hearing — even with my hearing aids turned off and acting as earplugs in my ears. I didn’t want to be anti-social or miss the “fun” but I knew I had to get out of there.

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Hearing Loss & Thanksgiving: A Recipe for Success

Thanksgiving is a time to join with family and friends to express gratitude for the many joys in our lives. For people with hearing loss, it can also often be fraught with anxiety. Will we be able to follow the dinner conversation and partake in the merriment? Will we be exhausted from all the listening fatigue? Will we remain a relevant and important part of the family dynamic?

My family usually heads out of town for Thanksgiving, but this year we are hosting! Sleeping all eight of us in a Manhattan apartment will make for tight quarters, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I have ceded control of the cooking to my mother-in-law, so my focus will be on setting the table, arranging the seating, and creating the perfect hearing friendly atmosphere — a great role for someone with hearing loss.

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When “You Seem To Hear Just Fine” Felt Like an Insult

It was the annual celebration dinner for a community group where I volunteer. People wore their finest attire and mingled in the beautiful space, chatting ahead of the awards dinner. The sound was deafening, but I did my best to hear and partake in a variety of conversations using my surviving a cocktail party with hearing loss tips.

Finding my spot at my assigned table, I introduced myself to my seat mates. Luckily the majority had strong voices in the right decibel range for me to hear; and they were easy to lipread. The conversation flowed, bouncing from topic to topic, before my hearing loss and related advocacy work came up. Yes, I try to slip it into every conversation — that is what advocates do.

Their response: “But, you seem to hear just fine.” Part of me was happy that I was conversing so successfully — those lipreading skills do come in handy — but part of me felt almost slighted. Truth be told, this duck was paddling furiously under the water.

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