This month’s blog is going to be a little different! I have broken down some of the most common statements that individuals with untreated hearing loss report. Often when someone is suffering from untreated hearing loss they state that they don’t know if the problem is due to hearing loss, their spouses’ voices, or their environment.
Eventually, I got tired of asking and just smiled politely.
I think we have all experienced this once or twice. The background noise in the restaurant is so overpowering that it’s hard to concentrate on the words being spoken. After asking to repeat once, then twice, it’s common for some people to give up on the conversation and just smile politely.
This patient knew that they needed help because it wasn’t only happening in restaurants. It was also happening at home, in grocery stores, and at work in quiet settings.
When situations like this occur, those with hearing loss will stop participating in conversations due to the level of difficulty and frustration. It is not uncommon for individuals to blame the other person for mumbling or talking to quietly.
It’s frustrating because I have to continuously ask her what she’s saying. So, I eventually just stop doing it and I just guess, which usually results in embarrassment or an argument.
Untreated hearing loss may result in embarrassment? Yes, you read that right! In an effort to continue the natural flow of the conversation many of my patients have confessed to me that they guessed what the other person was telling them, just so they didn’t have to ask for clarification.
For example, “It’s windy today” may sound a lot like “It’s Wednesday today.”
It is not uncommon for patients with untreated hearing loss to also report that they constantly bicker with their loved ones because they thought they heard one thing but really their family was trying to tell them something else. This is one example how anxiety, depression, and social isolation can start to creep into the lives of those suffering from untreated hearing loss.
Eventually we just stopped going. It’s not interesting anymore. I don’t enjoy it.
This one, personally, is hard for me to hear. I’ve had patients who quit attending things like bible study or choir rehearsal because they found it more frustrating than enjoyable due to their untreated hearing loss.
You may ask yourself, why do people wait so long to get treated or even tested for hearing loss? The reality is it goes unnoticed, sometimes for years. It’s usually their loved one or friends who notice the difficulty in communication their untreated hearing loss is causing. This is because the most common type of hearing loss is only in the high frequencies, leaving the low frequencies normal. So, for most people if their low frequencies sound normal they will pass the blame to others or the environment they are in.
If these statements above sound similar please contact us for more information. The first step is to have a routine hearing evaluation. We pride ourselves on counseling our patients regarding their hearing evaluation in a way that is easy to understand in a pressure free environment.