For many people, it takes years to come to grips with their hearing loss. During those years of being in denial of their hearing issues, there are often many times when people have to bluff their way through conversations.
By pretending to hear, they miss out on information that can strongly impact their lives, whether it’s instructions from a supervisor or a request from a loved one.
Social Issues Caused By Hearing Loss
Over the years of helping people regain their hearing, our hearing health care professionals at Hearing Associates of Las Vegas have heard of various social issues our patients have encountered due to unmanaged hearing loss. Below are some of the top social issues caused by hearing loss.
Miss Everyday Information
While text, email, and other forms of written communication can help prevent you from missing out on information, much of our everyday communications happen verbally.
For instance, say you are grocery shopping, and someone asks you a question you can’t hear. Many people instinctively will make some noise of assent—such as “ahmmm” or “uh-huh”—but depending on what is needed, that may be the wrong response. The person at the grocery store may be asking if they can get around you, and while you didn’t mean to ignore their request, they may perceive your inability to hear as deliberate rudeness and get upset with you.
Issues At Work Due To Miscommunication
The workplace is another area where much is communicated verbally. From asking you to pull some overtime, cover someone’s shift, updates on projects, and many other passing comments, hearing loss can make hearing all these things difficult. Not only can work miscommunication be frustrating, but it can lead to you being disciplined at work if your supervisor believes you are deliberately ignoring verbal communication.
Hearing loss is a protected disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and your employer must make reasonable accommodations. However, if you don’t know you have hearing loss, those accommodations can’t be made.
Miss Out On Special Events
However, what can be even worse than struggling to hear friends and colleagues is when our patients have spoken about not being able to hear their grandchildren.
*Susan—one of our patients—told us the breaking point for her to come in for a hearing evaluation was when her 8-year-old granddaughter had a solo in her first musical. But throughout the play, Susan could barely hear what the children were saying.
And when it came time for her granddaughter to perform her solo, Susan heard almost nothing. No one else had a problem when Susan asked if the sound was too quiet.
As high-frequency hearing loss is a common attribute of hearing loss, it means that higher-pitched voices—like the voices of children and women—can be very hard to hear.
Embarrassment And Frustration At Inability To Hear Conversations
It can be frustrating when you can’t hear conversations clearly. Some of our patients have described it as trying to follow a conversation while listening through a wall. It can work a little bit, but overall, not very effective and is mostly frustrating.
Along with frustration, hearing difficulty during conversations can feel embarrassing. As you struggle to hear the conversation, you can feel left out and isolated, especially if you don’t want to interrupt to ask for clarification.
Lying To Avoid Asking People To Repeat Themselves
While there is nothing malicious about lying to avoid asking people to repeat themselves, it can lead to problems. Say someone was asking you to do something, and rather than clarify what they said, you may agree to something you didn’t hear.
Often, it is our younger patients who tend to lie when they can’t hear. *Mark was only in his late forties, but he had started to find it tough to hear in crowds. The impetus to get his hearing checked was when at a family night at school, he agreed to be a parent-chaperone on an upcoming field trip.
Yet, Mark didn’t hear the teacher clearly, so he made sounds of agreement, not realizing that the field trip required a certain amount of adults to take the children. By the time Mark received the call asking if he was on his way to the school for the field trip, he had already arrived at work, an hour and a half from his child’s school.
Mark’s son and classmates were incredibly disappointed and sad that the trip had to be canceled due to too few approved adults.
One of the earlier signs of hearing loss is difficulty hearing in crowded areas where many people are talking.
Tendency To Talk Too Loudly
Another common issue with moderate or more severe hearing loss is a tendency to talk too loudly. Since you cannot hear quieter sounds, it may cause you to overcompensate while conversing. This tendency can make it uncomfortable for others to talk with you.
How To Resolve Hearing Issues
Rather than struggling to engage in conversations you can’t hear, you can have a hearing evaluation to determine your level of hearing loss. With the series of tests done during the hearing evaluation, our hearing healthcare professionals can pinpoint your hearing loss and provide you with the right solutions to resolve the loss.
The main way to resolve sensorineural hearing loss is to use hearing aids. Our hearing instrument specialists can work with you to find the right hearing aids to accommodate your hearing needs as well as find ones you feel good wearing. There have been many advancements in hearing technology, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the selection you will have available.
Also, once your hearing aids are ordered and arrive at our clinic, our hearing instrument specialists will program for your hearing needs. Several tests are done while you use your hearing aids to ensure that you enjoy the best hearing possible in all situations. You also will receive guidance from our specialists to help you best utilize your hearing aids.
If you are ready to stop bluffing your way through conversations, contact us to start working with our excellent hearing healthcare professionals.
*Name changed to protect privacy.
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