When it comes to hearing loss, good things come to those who don’t wait. All too often, individuals will wait 7-10 years before seeking treatment for their hearing loss. In this period the worsening of the condition can be significant and the benefits of hearing aid technology may not be as capable to achieve regular hearing levels. So what happens in these 7-10 years that causes so many people to put off getting a hearing consultation, even when they are free? In this blog we will look at the various stages of hearing loss and help you or a loved one identify where you may be at with hopes it prompts more immediate action.
Upon noticing early signs of hearing loss such as mishearing syllables and soft sounds, most individuals will enter the denial stage. In this stage, the effect of hearing loss is readily dismissed as not a serious issue or threat to their quality of life. While, these assumptions are correct in the short-term, the long-term ramifications are worth consideration early on. Most hearing professionals recommend that individuals, with or without hearing loss, should get a hearing test every year to stay on top of changes in their abilities, just as with vision and other regular checks.
As those in the denial stage continue to deal with their hearing loss difficulties they typically worsen over time. After a year or two, the hearing loss is now having more of an everyday impact on the individual. Due to this, most people will enter the coping stage, in which they pick up various coping mechanisms to accommodate the hearing loss rather than seeking treatment. Examples of the coping mechanisms include turning their head to use a good ear, sitting on certain sides of people and asking people to repeat themselves in conversations. Oftentimes, there is an overlap between denial and coping stages where one may state “Speak up, you’re mumbling!”
After using various coping mechanisms to keep up with listening in various environments the combination of continued worsening of their hearing loss and exhaustion from trying to cope becomes too much to handle. Thus, we all too often witness people slip into the withdrawal stage. At this point the effects of hearing loss have mightily impacted their quality of life as individuals in this stage will stop going to public gatherings and outings where the environment is too stressful for listing. Embarrassment also plays a major role in the withdrawal stage as not understanding conversations or requesting people to repeat themselves can be perceived negatively.
The last stage of hearing loss is acceptance, which usually occurs after many years struggle with the prior stages, as mentioned in the introduction. It is truly unfortunate that anyone should needlessly struggle with hearing loss when treatment options are readily available. If you, or a loved one, find yourself in any of these stages don’t wait a moment longer and simply contact our office for a free consultation today. Simple call us during business hours or submit your information through our Contact Us form.