When hearing loss occurs suddenly there is no denying
the fact you can't hear. The world and your life
change immediately. When hearing loss occurs
over years the changes in your life may not be
It's easier to tell yourself it's not really your
hearing it's, that people mumble or are talking to fast
or, "I was distracted by something else so I missed
what you said". Admitting to
yourself you have a hearing loss is
The question is "what do I do next?" The first thing is to check with your family doctor to have your ears physically checked, discuss medications, and complete any medical testing which may (or may not) be needed.
The next step is to have your hearing thoroughly tested. Hearing tests are generally done by an audiologist. Be sure to check with your medical insurance company. Tests for hearing are often covered. Although people may be reluctant to go to an audiologist thinking they will be pressured into buying a high cost hearing aid, that is usually not the case. In the past essentially no insurance company paid for hearing aids; that is changing, and will continue to do so.
Once your hearing loss is confirmed you may feel vulnerable, insecure, perhaps irritable, or depressed. You may start feeling insecure about your job, your role in your family or timid in social situations as you finally come to the realization you are not hearing normally and need to take further action.
If your hearing loss is mild the transition to using hearing aids may be relatively easy, if your hearing loss is severe the adjustment time probably will be somewhat longer. We're all different. If you find yourself feeling depressed and isolated, rest assured you are not alone. All of us with hearing loss have experienced various degrees of anxiety, fear and uncertainty we still do. You will gain courage and confidence as you gain knowledge and experience.
At some point you bite the bullet and acquire information, which helps you regain a sense of control. You'll learn to enjoy life despite your hearing loss. Now is the time to gather information, seek help from others, develop a plan of action, and yes, join the Hearing Loss Association of America!
The Rochester Chapter of HLAA has a vast collection of information gathered over the years, which is continually updated. Let us be your resource for education, information and support at the local level. Take a look around our website and if you have any questions please contact us.