In the last few articles from Steve, he has been exploring his daily experiences with hearing loss. The constant thread that ties these articles together is hearing loss awareness, or more properly, the lack of hearing loss awareness in the general population. Steve himself has said that he is guilty of placing the blame on his problem, but is that true? Shouldn't people be aware of hearing loss and be able to accommodate it? The succinct answer is yes, the truth is that they haven't a clue, the solution is for you to put your big girl or big boy pants on and educate them. Let's talk about how you can help to raise the awareness of hearing loss in wider society wherever you are, simply by going about your daily life. Oh, and being a tiny bit demanding.
People Don't Understand
In general, people don't understand, they have no experience of it, and there is little or no education about it. You can't blame them, their ideas about hearing loss are formed by what they see on the TV or hear on the radio. At best, they think if they shout loud enough at you, you will be alright.
You and I know that just roaring won't work, and even worse, having someone roar at you is tiring at best, embarrassing at worse and slightly hilarious if we are honest with ourselves. I know it is a pain, but we need to take responsibility and educate them on how to help us. Only then, will we be actively raising the awareness of hearing loss and its impact. In his last article, Steve had this to say, and it really resonated with me:
"If people don't have day-to-day exposure to hearing loss it's unlikely they'll be thinking about it.
My point is: hearing problems are your reality, your day-to-day, it's on your mind. When you pretend you can hear and you try to bluff it's unlikely the other person is thinking about your hearing loss.
Be aware that people are more likely to jump to other conclusions than the truth."
If you want people to facilitate your hearing loss, you need to tell them it is a problem. You also need to be ready to tell them how to help you. If you tell them, more often than not, they will adjust their behaviour to suit. That means that your life is more comfortable, and you have just made another person aware of hearing loss and the steps that can be taken to help someone.
Don't Be Embarrassed
I can almost hear some people, well my hearing loss is a private matter, and I wouldn't go about willy-nilly telling everyone. That my friend is arse (Irish Technical Term). What you really mean is that I would be embarrassed to speak about it and people would think less of me. And that is definitely arse. I have said it before, and I will repeat it, hearing loss is not a statement on you, on who you are, or how old you are; it merely is. No more and no less.
It is a problem that is causing you real issues. Not doing something about the impact of hearing loss that is affecting your life, now that is a statement about you. Honestly, is it more embarrassing to be in control of your ability to communicate or to stumble through life trying to bluff something while everyone knows you have a problem? Some people won't understand you have a hearing loss, they will just think you are a bit doddery or merely rude.
I Don't Want to Admit a Hearing Loss in Public
Which is more embarrassing, being a person who continually stumbles over what is being said, who answers questions wrongly, who laughs at the wrong time or who appears to be rude? Or, someone who takes control of their ability to communicate, explains clearly to others what the problem is and helps them to overcome those problems? Think about that; I know what the right answer is, and so do you.
Being a Grown-up
You owe it to yourself and your ongoing health and happiness—time to put your big boy or big girl pants on. Remember, hearing loss isn't a statement of who you are. We all need to work to raise awareness of hearing loss and its effects. We all need to raise awareness of the problems that hearing loss brings, and finally, we all need to work to raise awareness of how people can help.
The buck stops with us, so go out there and help raise awareness one person at a time, in one awkward situation st a time. We will all be happier for it. Like us on Facebook by clicking the button below to keep up with our latest utterances. Alternatively, if you don't like Facebook, sign up to the newsletter below. It is important to remember, a hearing aid isn't properly fitted unless they do Real Ear Measurement.