How does hearing loss effect people?
One in seven people in the UK have a hearing loss.
Losing your hearing is not the same as going blind. It is extremely rare for someone to suffer a complete and sudden loss of all their hearing, more often hearing will fail in specific frequencies or pitches. It does depend on the cause, but in the main we will lose our higher frequency hearing first. It’s usually gradual – sometimes so gradual that those we live and interact with are the first to notice something is wrong.
Why is speech hard to understand?
Consider removing the consonants from a nine letter word such as TELEGRAPH.
The more letters you remove the harder it is to guess the word. T E L E _ R A _ _ might cause you to struggle, and as hearing deteriorates and more letters disappear, the hard of hearing struggle progressively more such that a severe loss might make the word sound more like _ E _ E _ _ A _ _, which would be totally impossible to understand.
This example is similar to living life with a hearing loss. As sounds and frequencies are removed, the hard of hearing often complain that people are mumbling, and have difficulties hearing loved ones or the television, and especially speech in back ground noise.
Communication becomes tiresome and frustrating for the sufferer and those they interact with. It is also very exhausting to deal with hearing loss as you need to concentrate far more to keep up with life around you.
As hearing problems affects people you live and work with it is a good idea to discuss this with people close to you. They need to understand any problems, issues and the impact a hearing problem has on you.
It is also good for you to understand how your hearing problem may affect them. Solutions can then be worked on together. For this reason it is particularly important to have someone who is affected by your hearing loss with you during the consultation so they can help explain its impact and more about what you are missing.