SONUS Hearing Care Professionals - Alexandria
4660 Kenmore Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Hearing Loss Admitting the Psychological Influence of Denial
I have observed, while in the course of working with those experiencing hearing loss, that here are some psychological factors that can influence the decision to admit a loss of hearing. An individual with a possible hearing loss who refuses to admit to the loss, may cause stress to other family members and friends whose primary concern is the individuals safety, welfare and quality of life.
My own personal experience with a patient demonstrates the potentially harmful result of denying hearing loss. During my first year as a hearing aid specialist, I had a patient tell me that the only reason he was purchasing hearing aid devices was to pacify his family. He did not believe he had a hearing loss, but he was tired of the continuous contention with family members.
Even though this patient exhibited hearing loss, he was not willing to admit to the loss and really did not want the hearing aid devices. He left my office without any hearing aid implements. His family was insistent because they were convinced he had a hearing loss and needed the hearing aids. After I calmed them down, I pointed out to them that though their family member may need the hearing aids, this was not the right time for him to make the purchase. He was in “denial” about his hearing loss, and therefore the devices would just sit in a drawer and not be used.
I encouraged the family to not give up, but to continue to talk to him about his hearing loss and what he may be missing. When he illustrated a willingness to admit a hearing loss, then he would be ready to consider hearing aids.
Three months later, the patient returned to my office and said he was ready to purchase hearing aids. I asked him what changed his mind. He explained to me that one day while he was babysitting his five year old granddaughter at his house, she had fallen into the pool in his backyard and he could not hear her yelling for help. The next door neighbor alerted him and he rescued her from the pool. After that incident, he realized that he could not allow his pride and his refusal to admit to a hearing loss, to potentially endanger his granddaughter, or himself.
If you, or someone you know, is experiencing a hearing loss, consult a hearing professional or an ENT to determine if hearing aids may be necessary.