Hearing loss is something that we assume you are either born with or develop when you are very old. We remember our grandparents wearing hearing aids, and you might have known of someone who was born with some level of deafness. But, suddenly becoming deaf, that doesn’t happen, does it?
Well, yes, it does. Developing deafness before old age is uncommon. Usually, hearing issues are a symptom of another condition, like an infection or damaged eardrum, that can be fixed with the right treatment. But, that doesn’t mean that it never happens. Some young, otherwise healthy adults find that following an accident or illness, their hearing is impaired. Hearing loss can be partial or total, short-term or permanent, but it is always hard to adjust to.
Fortunately, nowadays there are cutting-edge hearing aids for everyone, and with so many options available, help is always at hand. But, a loss of any sense is sure to be challenging, even with the right treatment. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can adjust to life with a hearing aid.
Often, when we’re struggling with our hearing, we isolate ourselves. We’re worried that we won’t be able to understand people or that we won’t be able to keep up with our friend’s conversations. We can’t imagine that life will ever be the same, and we might be scared of noisy locations and events. You might worry more if you’ve been living with some level of deafness for a time without help.
But, isolating yourself from your friends, family and the outside world can lead to feelings of depression and unhappiness. You might start to feel useless, or like your life is ruined.
It doesn’t have to be this way. With the right help and support, you can still live your usual life. You can have fun with your friends and family and go out to the places that you love. Start small, go out with one friend that you trust. Spend time seeing people one on one, in quiet locations to make things easier for yourself. Then, over time build up to doing more. Soon, you’ll be as social as you ever were.
Your family and friends will be fantastic if you let them in. But, they’ll never really understand what you are going through, or the life that you now lead. This in itself can be isolating. So, why not find people that do understand you? There might be a support group in your local area, and even if there isn’t, or you don’t want to meet in person, there are online groups that you can join. Reach out to other people in your circumstances online and create a support network. In the future, you might find that you are the person helping others adjust to life with a hearing aid.
Take Your Time
Whether you have struggled with your hearing for a long time, or it’s a new condition, living with a hearing aid is different. Some days, it will be all that you can think about. Other times, you’ll forget it is there. Slowly, over time, the times that you forget will grow, and you’ll think about it much less. But, this will take time, and that’s fine.
Wear it as Much as Possible
In time, you might decide that you don’t always want to wear your hearing aid. You might prefer just to wear it when you are out or watching TV. Preferring to be without it when you don’t really need it. But, in the early days, it is better to wear it as much as you can. This will help your brain adjust to the new sounds, it will help your ears get used to the feelings, and it will help you to get any settings just right.
At the same time, you might want to avoid very noisy places, or high pitched sounds until you are more comfortable. Start wearing your hearing aid at home and work, then venture to noisier areas as you become more comfortable and more confident.
This process of adjustment can be tiresome. Chances are, your hearing loss happened gradually, and it’s unrealistic to assume that you and your hearing aid will be completely in sync on day one. You might find that your days are exhausting as absolutely everything feels different. During this time, make sure that you get plenty of rest and that you take good care of yourself.
Ask for Help
If things feel wrong, don’t be scared to ask for help, as you would with any health issue. Get in touch with your doctor or the person that fitted your aid and ask for help or advice.