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Katie Kirleis, AuD
Hearing Loss and Emotional Pain
Hearing Professionals Inc.
. http://www.hearing-professionals.com/

Hearing Loss and Emotional Pain

Humans are social in nature, making communication an important part of our daily lives. The inability to maintain communication can cause loneliness, isolation, dependence, and frustration. The first thought that comes to mind when we talk about hearing loss, is not typically how your social, emotional, and psychological well-being are affected. However, these aspects of our lives are intertwined with our ability to interact with each other.

A great deal of anxiety can be experienced, not knowing if you are responding appropriately or if you are afraid of how much of the conversation you might miss. There are several tactics commonly used to compensate for the difficulties experienced. Many will rely on a translator that repeats what was missed, interprets messages, and relays telephone messages. This can very easily take the enjoyment out of the situation. Such inability to carry on social interaction independently consequently creates social isolation.

Avoiding the situation is a tactic many people succumb to as a way to prevent the anxiety and isolation that can be experienced. Unfortunately, many of the situations a person might avoid are those that will make life so enjoyable (i.e. restaurants, plays, movies, concerts).

Those with normal hearing often assume that speaking louder will solve the issue. Volume is not necessarily the only problem experienced. Difficulties with sound and word discrimination/clarity are usually involved. Often times, the hearing impaired will state that their friends and family are always yelling at them. Feelings of resentment can build up over time from the continual shouting in order to communicate and even keep daily conversation from occurring.

Assistive devices are tools used to reduce the difficulties that one with hearing impairment encounters.

The majority of individuals that have hearing loss, even those that are aware of the deterioration avoid or delay use of hearing aids for several years. This is unfortunate considering they might not be aware of the impact this delayed decision has had on their life, and the lives of their family and associates.

Hearing loss is an invisible handicap which often times leads to social isolation and withdrawal. Audiologists help reduce the negative impact hearing disorders can cause in every aspect of our lives as social beings. The goal of intervention is to help the hearing impaired and their loved ones move toward a more open and communicative life. Every person deserves the opportunity to maintain their interpersonal relationships and not let hearing loss keep them from the life they know.

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