The struggle of adjusting to a life with hearing loss is heavy, but it doesn’t have to be shouldered alone. Bringing friends and family members into your circle and sharing your experiences can increase the ease with which you acclimate to new habits and realities.
Audiologists often find that working with the family as a unit in exploring a patient’s hearing health path is often the most successful. The individual with hearing loss is able to feel more supported in adapting to their new realities when friends and family are on board. Plus, family members included in finding solutions tend to be much more open and graceful about making room for the ways that their loved one’s hearing loss will inevitably affect all of your lives.
Spread the word to your nearest and dearest
Many things will be changing for you as you adjust to your hearing loss. You may find that outings and communications you once enjoyed have become stressful. Perhaps you’re used to checking in with your best friend or your partner on the telephone once a day. It’s a habit that keeps the lines of communication open and the two of you so close. When hearing loss enters the picture, a phone call might not be as appealing a form of conversation anymore. First and foremost, you must share with your loved one the difficulty you’re having. Let them know that the relationship remains as important as it’s ever been and that you simply need to shuffle around the daily communication habits.
Find a solution that works best for both of you. Using the example of the daily telephone call, if your partner spends most of their day at the computer, perhaps you shift over to a daily email. Your best friend might spend their days running around and away from technology. You might instead schedule a weekly breakfast to check in and catch up.
These adjustments to the ways you connect might not last forever. Once you’ve found a hearing solution that really fits your life and you’ve had time to adjust to the new way you experience hearing, odds are that you’ll be able to jump right back into beloved habits without a ton of additional listening effort and stress.
Ultimately, sharing your experiences makes for more satisfaction in relationships. It might feel like exposing a weakness at first, but learning to be upfront about your hearing loss with loved ones is an important skill to master.
Bring your team along
Bringing family members to your appointments with your hearing health professional can really alleviate tensions as you all adjust to your hearing loss. Spouses or children might feel more comfortable voicing difficult questions or concerns to a professional. And, they’ll be able to see you in a setting in which your health is a priority and you are taking charge to find solutions and responsible care. Suddenly, hearing loss isn’t as faceless and intimidating anymore.
Remember that your audiologist at Greentree Hearing and Audiology is a highly trained professional. We’ve answered all of these questions — still so new to you — many times over. We have successfully treated a great number of patients with hearing loss and we have a lot of experience navigating tricky family dynamics before. If bringing your family into your conversations with them feels vulnerable, don’t worry. You are in good and experienced hands.
Stay at the helm
This is your journey. While friends and family are there to help you through this time, it’s not their hearing that is under discussion. If you have an overbearing or overly protective family member that tends to overpower conversations with your hearing health provider, draw a clear boundary as early as possible. This might initially be a tough topic to bring up, but the road of hearing loss can be long. Isn’t a brief moment of uncomfortableness worth undertaking if it saves innumerable headaches down the line?
It’s great to have someone at your side for support, but don’t allow a big personality to run the show if it means that your needs are not being heard or addressed. What really matters is that you’re able to ask the questions you have and deliberate in a peaceful way in order to find the hearing solution that works best for you.
At Greentree Audiology, we are here to support you through this important journey in your life. Contact us today to schedule a hearing test.