Being diagnosed with a hearing disability can be challenging. You may have experienced a myriad of emotions while you try to process the new information. Hearing loss affects of a lot of people. In the United States alone, more than nine million Americans over the age of 65 and about 10 million Americans age 54 to 64 experience some form of hearing disability, so you are not alone. Coming to terms with your hearing disability will help you make sound decisions about how to push forward. Just like grief, there are five stages you may experience when you are starting to come to terms with your hearing disability.
This is simply when you are not made away of your hearing loss, or you may not recognize it immediately, especially since some hearing disabilities happen gradually instead of all at once. During this stage, you may believe that your hearing is just fine, but in actuality, it is not at 100 percent like you imagined. Maybe you had your ears professionally checked by an audiologist, but you still believe that your hearing is not that bad. This is another indicator that you may be in the denial stage of coming to terms with your disability.
There comes a time in which no matter how hard you try to deny, you cannot ignore or hide your hearing disability. It can start making your everyday life more frustrating or difficult to manage. The next stage is anger. There are a ton of reasons to be angry that are all valid. Finding another doctor to help treat this disability can be inconvenient, frustrating and expensive. Constantly asking your family members and friends to speak up or adjust the volume settings on things can cause tension on both parts. During this stage, it is important that you talk to someone so you get those feelings of anger and frustration off your chest.
Once you have got over the denial and frustration that accompanies coming to terms with your hearing disability, you may transition to the bargaining phase. This could include anything from promising yourself to wear your hearing protection when you are engaging in something that requires loud noises. You could even promise yourself to listen to music and watch movies with a lower volume than you typically would. Though these things are good for your hearing health, they may not solve your hearing disability.
You could also feel intense feelings of sadness because of the realization of your hearing disability. When you realize that you lost something that is valuable to you, it can be saddening. You may have the impulse to isolate yourself because you know you will have to constantly ask your friends to repeat themselves. Know that you are not alone.
This is the final stage of coming to terms with your hearing disability. This involves completely accepting your physical limitations. By now you would have reached out to a hearing professional who can provide you with options to improve your ability to hear in your everyday life. They could suggest using a device like a hearing aid.
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