Hello everyone, I don’t know how much info I will actually get outta this site because it doesn’t seem that there are many people that I find that can speak from the same experience as I can. I am 27 yrs old and I have a hearing loss where I have to wear hearing aids (not visible though as they are completely in the ear). I hear probably about 70% and rely a lot on reading lips. This goes down when other factors come into play like background noise and when the person I am talking to isn’t looking at me. My problem is that I lose my confidence when it comes to approaching women or trying to make new friends because I am afraid I might not hear them. So most of the time I just avoid it and spend a lot time being alone. I am not a shy person, I love to talk to people but my confidence is shattered a lot of times because of the hearing loss. I consider myself decent looking and I always wished that I never had a hearing problem because I feel I would have a lot more friends and I wouldn’t be so lonely. So I guess my question is if anyone else has been in my shoes and if so, how do you deal with it? Any help,tips or info would be really appreciated. Thanks everyone…
Actually, I’d wager that you are FAR from being alone, my friend. Deafness can be an extremely isolating experience. Many people, myself included, have felt the lack of confidence you speak of.
About the only real advice I can offer is - put yourself out there. Hold your head up and look them square in the lips… er, square in the eye. Anyone worth knowing or dating will understand your problem - that’s easy to say, I know, but nevertheless, it is true. Having used HAs (among other problems) for most of my 40 years of life has taught me this.
If you’re only hearing 70% while wearing HAs, perhaps the instruments you’re wearing aren’t right for you. Or they may need adjustment. Talk to a good audiologist about it, if you can.
Perhaps some of your conversational difficulties stems from where you’re trying to talk to people. Background noise can be hard on anyone while conversing, especially when deafness is concerned.
Well the first thing I would do is get a new audiogram and make sure your current aids are still strong enough for you. The rest of your complaints are all pretty common. Most of us, especially those of us with a more serious loss, are all too aware of just how much our loss effects our everyday lives. Isolation, losing friends, a desire to not go out as much, struggling in a noisy environment are all pretty common complaints. First off, the fact that you mention your aids can hardly be seen may not necessarily be a good thing. You obviously have a noticeable loss, trying to conceal it may just make matters worse. Tell others that you don’t hear well, and how they need to speak to you so that you can better understand them. Some people will be helpful, others will just act like asses. Struggling in a noisy environment may always be a problem, and one you may never get used too. Be accepting of your loss and educate yourself further as to how you can better help yourself. I’ll be honest with you, a lot of this is easier said then done. I’ll be the first to admit that I also avoid a lot of situations because it’s easier then dealing with the stress and hassle of trying to be able to hear. But it affects the quality of my life and life is much to short. You’re only 27, don’t give up. But the things your are experiencing are very very common amongst people who are hard of hearing. The feeling of isolation can at times seem overwhelming. They say it’s easier for deaf people then it is for HOH. Deaf people are able to better accept their situation because it’s much more cut and dry, consequently their stress levels are much lower. HOH are trying to survive in a world where everyone hears and consequently are constantly at a disadvantage. I wish I had answers for you. One thing I can tell you is you are not alone. Hearing aids help but they are not a cure. You will probably always struggle in certain situations. Try not to let it run your life. I took my kids to the movies the other day. I think maybe I understood 4 words. Now I could turn around and say that going to the movies is a waste of time so I’m not going anymore. But then I don’t spend time with my kids. Accept your loss for what it is. Try not to let it control your life. And remember, you’re not alone.
I feel your pain. I’m 28 and single w/ moderate to severe loss. I found the best thing to do when meeting people is to bring up my hearing loss as soon as possible. Usually I introduce it in a funny way and then pull out my hearing aids and flash them in my hand. Usually people are surprised because they hadn’t noticed them…