When a person in a conversation has a hearing loss, everyone in the conversation is affected.
Most hearing losses occur gradually, and are subtle to those that have it. The incremental accumulation of effects become that which is lived, but often little realized. It becomes their human reality.
Those that communicate with them, understand the effects because of what they do to get through fog of reduced hearing.
Socially, those with hearing loss:
- Require repetition
- Have difficulty following conversations
- Think others sound muffled, as if they are mumbling
- Have more difficulty hearing in noise
- Often have more difficulty hearing women or children
- Turn the TV up louder than others
- Respond out of sync in conversations
- Have ringing in the ears or other ‘phantom-like’ sounds (tinnitus)
- Read lips more intently
- Are isolated
Emotionally, those with hearing loss feel:
Medically, those with hearing loss may:
- Have a family history of hearing loss with genetic consequences
- Take or have taken medications that harm the hearing system (ototoxic drugs)
- Have diabetes, or heart, circulation or thyroid problems
- Have been exposed to excessive noise
- Have had serious high fevers
- Have ears plugged with wax (cerumen)
- Have a middle ear disorder