Hearing Loss - What it Sounds Like to Live This Way
What It's Like to Live With Hearing Loss
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I’ll start this blog with a confession: My hearing loss is one of my least favorite topics to talk about. So why, then, would I start a blog on the subject? Because for anyone else who has a hearing loss or suspects they may have one, it’s probably one of their least favorite subjects, as well. The more you know about a condition you’re living with, regardless of what it is, the better you’ll be able to manage it in everyday life, and put it in perspective with the other components of your life, both good and bad.
A quick background on my hearing loss: I was diagnosed with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss at the age of 5. If that sounds sad, I always remind myself that it could have been worse. Because my hearing loss did not occur until that age, I already had fully developed speech. For people who are born with a hearing loss, their ability to learn language is impaired, and many must go through speech therapy in order to learn to speak like others. For those who develop hearing loss later in life (which is the majority of people with hearing loss), they may find it’s harder to accept their diminished ability to hear, and resist using hearing aids or other assistance.
At the age of 5, though, I didn’t really understand what was happening to me. I probably lost my hearing over the course of a month, likely due to genetic reasons (my mother also has a hearing loss, but she lost her hearing at the age of 25 – when she was pregnant with me). All I knew was that everything went from being easy to suddenly being very hard. Shortly before I started kindergarten, I began wearing my first set of hearing aids. I was scared, uncomfortable, and felt completely unable to relate to my fellow students, who all had normal hearing. I envied them, running around the playground and screaming with reckless abandon, completely oblivious to what they had.
So why did I develop a hearing loss? The scientific answer is essentially, “no reason.” I wasn’t sick, I didn’t get in an accident, and I certainly hadn’t gone to years of loud concerts! It just happened. As a 5 year-old, this was somewhat easy to accept. As I got older, though, I went through emotions such as anger and frustration. I’m not sure if it’s due to developing a hearing loss at such a young age, or because of the proactive attitude my parents had toward my hearing loss (probably both), but an emotion I’ve rarely delved into is pity. My hearing loss is what it is.
I don’t think there’s some grand cosmic reason for getting a hearing loss (and I find it annoying when people suggest that there is). We all have our challenges in life, and this happens to be a major one for me.
If you or someone you know have a hearing loss, how have you come to accept it? Let me know!
Video: 5 Tips for Living with Hearing Loss
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