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Skip Over the Stages of Hearing Loss
Posted by Echo Hearing Systems & Audiology on July 11, 2014
When it comes to hearing loss, good things come to those who don't wait. All too often, patients go 7 to 10 years before seeking treatment for hearing loss. During this time, the condition significantly worsens and the benefits of hearing aid technology may not be as capable of restoring hearing. So what happens during these years that causes so many people to put off getting a hearing consultation, even when they are free? In this blog we will look at the stages of hearing to help anyone struggling with hearing loss identify where they may be and to seek treatment earlier.
Upon noticing the early signs of hearing loss, such as mishearing syllables and softer sounds, most individuals will enter the denial stage. I this stage of hearing loss, the effects are readily dismissed as not a serious issue or threat to their quality of life. While these assumption are accurate in for the short-term, the long-term ramifications are worth consideration early on. Most hearing professionals recommend that individuals, with or without hearing loss, should get a hearing test every year to stay on top of changes in their hearing abilities, just as occurs with vision and other regular checkups.
As those in the denial stage continue to deal with their hearing loss difficulties, they typically worsen over time. After a year or two, the hearing loss is now having more of an everyday impact on the individual. Due to this, most people will enter the coping stage, where they pick up various coping mechanisms to accommodatefor their hearing loss rather than seeking treatment. Examples of the coping mechanisms include turning their head to use a good ear, sitting on certain sides of people and asking others to repeat themselves in conversations. Oftentimes, there is an overlap between denial and coping stage where one may state "Speak up! you're mumbling."
After using various coping mechanisms to keep up with listening in various environments the combination of continued worsening of their hearing loss and exhaustion form trying to cope becomes too much to handle. Thus, we all too often witness people slip into the withdrawal stage. At this point the effects of hearing loss have had a larger impact their quality of life as individuals in this stage will stop going to public gatherings and outings where the environment is too stressful for listening. Embarrassment also plays a major role in the withdrawal stage as not understanding conversations or requesting people to repeat themselves can be perceived negatively.
The last stage of hearing loss is acceptance, which usually occurs after many years struggle with the prior stages, as mentioned in the introduction. It is truly unfortunate that anyone would needlessly struggle with hearing loss when treatment options are readily available. If you, or a loved one, find yourself in any of these stages, don't wait a moment longer and contact our office for a free consultation today. Simply call us during business hours or submit your information through our Contact Us page form.