Grieving about hearing loss

Wondered if anyone else went through grieving stages after losing hearing. I had a mild to moderate loss for a few years on both sides and then my right ear died from an inner ear infection 3 years ago. I grieved for about a year and a half and didn’t really have anyone to discuss it with who would understand in my small town. I hadn’t realized how devastating it was even though I had spent my career working with people with disabilities, ironically. So if anyone is depressed or sad over sudden deafness, it would be helpful to talk to other people.

My friend had to go to counselling about 7 years ago when she lost her hearing. She went from mild to profoundly deaf quite quickly. When she was mild, it didn’t really bother her, it wasn’t until she became profoundly deaf, that she went to counselling.

I imagine for those born that way or loss their hearing at an infant age, there was little or no grieving because that’s all they knew their whole life (as in my case). But to loose something you had and were aware of, I am sure is extremely difficult to deal with.

Most people go through the 5 stages of grief when they find out they have a hearing problem. The 5 stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally acceptance. So what you are experiencing is completely normal.

I knew I had hearing loss, everybody else knew, even a cat I had once would get right in my face to meow to be let out. But I avoided learning the details for many years.

Then when I couldn’t put it off any longer I went to an audiologist and got a test, asked detailed questions and educated myself on the basics. It was only then that I fully realized the situation and began to grieve.

I think it is normal to grieve, and to talk to people about the grieving, and it is also normal to eventually resolve the grief (to a degree) and to go on with making the best of it.

Absolutely agree, resolve, adapt, move on. Sudden deafness is a different ballgame than gradual hearing loss though and I found that part more difficult to come to terms with. Bluetooth and a BI CROS system have given me quite a boost recently so I’m always eager to hear about new technology. I have the greatest respect and admiration for people who are profoundly deaf.

I lost my hearing, I was in denial for about 5 years. I had never accept it and quit all social activities. Depression, and countless problems with communication and decent job. I am doing better now but I have never stopped grieving. It gets easier with time and good digital hearing aids :smiley:

I think if you looked into the five stages of grieving there is probably different stages of acceptance too. You have reached the acceptance level because you have hearing aids, but I think you can also still exhibit some of the other characteristics of grieving even after you reach acceptance, but that’s only my opinion.

Just like everything else in the social sciences, it is a soft observation. When in transition, there is a lot of moving back and forth. Even Piaget noted this.

Most devastating aspects of severe or profound hearing loss are lost decent job oppurtunities and lack of social activities. I can almost never get any joy from outdoor activities since I don’t get what people talk about most of the time.

Seb, I totally agree. For the most part, I have accepted it (took me a year to get that 2nd hearing aid, even though I knew I could benefit from it). But there are still times when it all bothers me and I feel sorry for myself. I only allow myself to wallow a little, then I make myself snap out of it.

I can hear one at a time in a group so I am constantly positioning myself, explaining my lack of hearing to people etc. I do a little substitute teaching but only in preschool special ed with another adult present as I don’t want the stress of multiple kids voices at once, so you are right, it is limiting in many ways. People are pretty understanding though, so keep on plugging away.

Tisha,
I have never really felt sorry for myself regarding my hearing and it’s probably because I’ve known I had a hearing loss since I was in the second grade and then was diagnosed in the fourth grade by an ENT with HF hearing loss. I was able to get by without hearing aids until a few years ago and when I was told I needed them it came as no surprise since I had been told years ago that I would eventually need them and I knew I had a hearing problem. I think the people that have the most problems accepting their hearing loss are those that have a sudden hearing loss, where one day they can hear and the next day they can’t, followed by those who’s hearing loss has developed over a few years. I’ve known a few people who have HA’s but are mad at the world and feel they have been given a bad deck of cards concerning their hearing loss, never mind the fact that they used tools, shot guns or went to rock concerts without hearing protection. However, in the end, Yeh, you can feel sorry for yourself at times which is totally natural but at the end of the day you still have a hearing loss and have to play out the cards you were dealt, so you have to pull yourself up, do the best you can and go on living your life with what you have.

I think part of grieving was I had perfect hearing until 38, then had a virus in one ear. I didn’t need a hearing aid until 5 years ago, and even then just for high pitches. My other ear was “perfect”. At age 48, I found out I had an Acoustic Neuroma and was scared to death about my hearing in that ear (my good ear). I had radiation, then had SHL 3 weeks afterwards. Hearing came back with strong steroids, but not as good…denigrated until I had to face the fact that I need a HA in that ear…which was perfect.

So yes, I think the grieving is from going from perfect to not. It’s a shock, and like any shock one that takes time to get used to.

But in the fullness of time, we accept.

Grieving any kind of loss is important. It is not feeling sorry for yourself. It is necessary to feel the loss and grieve it to be able to heal and move on. Give yourself time to feel the sadness. I went through that. I had lost some hearing and then was prescribed antibiotic ear drops and lost a considerable amount of additional hearing because of that. I was very angry. I eventually had to forgive the doctor who had prescribed the drops and move on with my life. I’m glad that you realize that grieving is part of hearing loss as many people do not realize that. Give yourself permission to grieve.

Tisha,
As I said, hearing loss is harder on people who lose their hearing suddenly than those who lose it gradually. You are very lucky to still have any hearing in the ear with the Acoustic Neuroma, I know two people who after either radiation or Gama Knife surgery have basically no hearing left in the ear affected.

I can imagine how hard it is losing your hering suddenly, in my case it wasn´t that quickly, over 50 years from being hard of hearing mid-severe, today profoundly deafness:(…
I´m used to being deaf, but some times I´m sad because it isolates in the hearing world.

I can imagine how hard it is losing your hering suddenly, in my case it wasn´t that quickly, over 50 years from being hard of hearing mid-severe, today profoundly deafness:(…
I´m used to being deaf, but some times I´m sad because it isolates in the hearing world.

I was in denial for a long time regarding my hearing loss. It has affected my prospects in life tremendously and I’m sorry to say it has been my experience that some people aren’t particularly sensitive when it concerns those with hearing impairment. Be that as it may, with my hearing aids I’m now able to function reasonably well, and am finally able to go back to school. Hearing aids are definitely not a cure, just a tool. Because I am a loner by nature, I don’t think my hearing loss has been as devastating for me as it might be for others, because interacting in social situations has never really been my thing. Even so, coming to terms with my hearing loss has been quite an ordeal and journey…

Hello to all. I am a 20 year Air Force veteran. My hearing loss started there. After retirement I had a sudden sever hearing loss, and it was 3 time worse. I had a really hard time hearing women and children. I bought a set of hearing aids on line four years ago. But I was still beating myself up about it. Then one day god put me in a restaurant with about 3 buses loads of deaf and severely hard of hearing teenagers. I sat there wondering what most of them, would give to have the half the hearing I had left. I never beat myself up over my hearing again. After 13 years I was finally fitted with new hearing aids from the VA. For me the missing the everyday noise was no big deal, but the not being able to understand what was being said was the worse of all. I really enjoy being able to hear and understand what is being said. Watching TV and not missing 50% of what is said is a bonus too.