Hearing is one of our most precious senses; it is essential for communicating, participating, socializing, relaxing and interacting. Hearing helps you to fully enjoy your life.
Hearing loss will disrupt all aspects of your life; professional, family and social life will be impacted. This is because it affects your ability to communicate and participate and it may lead to feeling frustrated, discouraged, embarrassed, isolated and even depressed.
There are five stages that people go through when coping with hearing loss and they are similar to the stages people go through when they grieve a passing of a loved one or any loss that alters their life. Before you can come to terms with hearing loss, you will go through the following five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. The duration of each stage varies greatly from individual to individual and it may be a process of moving forward and backward through the stages.
At MAC our audiologists understand the emotional impact of hearing loss and can empathize and help you work through each stage.
|Denial||The first stage is denying any hearing difficulty. If you attend a hearing assessment, it is only on the insistence of a family member. You may deny any difficulties, "my hearing is fine, you speak very softly"|
|Anger||When you can no longer deny it, for example after a diagnosis of hearing loss, feelings of anger, rage, envy and resentment may ensue, and you may lash out blaming others and anything in your frustration.|
A period of bargaining follows, this is really an attempt to postpone getting your hearing tested or purchasing hearing aids. You may make excuses.
"my hearing isn't that bad, if only people didn't mumble"
|Depression||Anger and postponement are soon replaced with a sense of loss and sinking into depression, you become tired of saying "pardon", "what" and begin to withdraw "I won't go to the club because I can't hear what is going on"|
You will sooner or later come to terms with the hearing loss and seek a solution
"what can I do to hear better"
It is important to address hearing loss earlier rather than later because long term untreated sensorineural (or permanent conductive) hearing loss leads to auditory deprivation; a weakening of the auditory neural system affecting the brain's ability to understand speech. Auditory deprivation can also occur with poorly fitted hearing aids that do not deliver adequate sound to the brain or with monaurally fitted hearing aids when there is a hearing loss in both ears.