There are a few things that can be quite uncomfortable as we age. Hearing loss as we get older is one of the most frustrating and affects a lot of seniors. There are many that are in perfect health and are very able, but then hearing loss sets in and it affects many facets of life including the ability to live independently.
There are a lot of great hearing aids that can help, as you can see from these hearing aid reviews. Yet, many seniors are not rushing out to get themselves hearing aids. Many are reluctant to face the fact that they need to have some help to get their hearing back on track.
This is because when we get older, some of the inevitabilities are tough to confront. To some, getting a hearing aid means that they are giving up. In fact, there are several stages that happen to many seniors that start to realize that their hearing is suffering. In this article, we will go over the five stages that many people experience.
1 – Denial
Hearing loss happens very gradually over time. It isn’t one of those events that just suddenly and dramatically occurs. Because of this, it is very easy to brush off the signs very early on.
You’ll often hear those that are experiencing the first signs of hearing loss complaining that everybody is mumbling. Or, that the TV is simply on too low a volume. Very rarely do they realize that they are starting to lose their hearing. Those that do realize will sometimes go into denial.
It’s not easy to admit when you are losing your hearing. Getting hearing aids to some people is something that makes them feel like they are a lesser person. Even though losing hearing is not a huge problem for most people as there are solutions they are reluctant to admit the problem.
Luckily, many people move right past the denial stage to acceptance if they have the right attitude and support network.
2 – Anger
Once past the denial stage, there are some that do accept that they are losing their hearing. However, this acceptance doesn’t mean that they’ve decided to do something about it. Instead, they’ve gotten angry about it. They are angry that they’ve begun to lose their hearing and feel resentful toward those around them.
Many lash out at those that are trying to help as they themselves feel helpless and don’t like it. Very often, they are edgy and arguments happen quite easily and frequently. They feel that people around them are indifferent to their suffering or that they are not trying to accommodate them.
There is a fix, of course, that can reverse this problem but they are too proud to do so. Some would rather just be angry about it and not actually try to solve the problem despite the many resources available to them.
3 – Depression
It is not uncommon for anybody that has begun to feel their age setting in to become depressed. There are a lot of limitations that make their life uncomfortable and when the reality sets in that they have gotten older they feel depressed about it.
Hearing loss is also something that causes this feeling of depression. It makes some people feel helpless since now they are relying on others to help them do the things that they’ve taken for granted before. When they feel stressed about their situation, they often will withdraw from their friends and family. This causes a vicious cycle that makes them spiral further into depression.
They might also feel that others are not there helping them enough with their problem. They feel that since they can’t hear well that concessions should be made for them that are not being met. This makes them feel underappreciated and another vulnerability emerges that ends up in depression.
When people lose control of a situation because they are not able to hear then this can have devastating effects on their mental health. Confidence is the first thing to take a major hit. Then it spirals downward and can be a deep hole to mentally crawl out of.
4 – Acceptance
At any point in this progression, some people will eventually reach the acceptance stage. Many reach the point of acceptance when they realize that there is a way out and they can enjoy an improved quality of life if they get some help. It isn’t always easy to get to this stage, but once they do then they finally feel in control of their lives once again.
Once they talk to an audiologist for the first time, they often feel they have an ally and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Some people may find that their hearing loss is fairly serious and may require a long, hard road ahead. Others will realize that they needlessly suffered since they only needed to get fitted for a hearing aid.
It’s now when these people have finally accepted that they have a problem and need help to fix it that they can finally move on and end up improving their hearing. They also find that their lives are now improving in many other areas and they are more in control.
Living with a hearing aid
Life with hearing aids is undoubtedly strange at first. It does take some getting used to and there is a learning curve associated with getting back to normal. It’s just like when you try on new shoes that are uncomfortable until they break in.
At a certain point, you will get used to hearing aids and will understand how to get the most out of them until you barely notice that you’re even using them. After not hearing well for months or even years, there is a period in which the brain needs to readjust to hearing these sounds. It can be disconcerting. Once you can adjust the levels on the hearing aid, you will get used to tuning out sounds just as you had before your hearing loss.