The hearing impaired person”s friends and family members also face challenges. Here is a personal example from my experiences raising Heather and Logan:
Imagine never being able to call to your family member when they are in another room because they can’t hear you. Or late at night, dropping into bed exhaustedly only to remember you forgot to lock the front door, and you can’t yell at someone else in the house to lock it because no one can hear you.
I would have enjoyed the new technology we have nowadays. I could have texted my teenagers and asked them to lock the door for me. They were always up later than me.
Are you curious about what it is like to be the person who is hearing impaired? They are the individuals with the most difficult challenges.
What is it like to be hearing impaired?
People have asked Heather the question, “What is it like to be hearing impaired?” She is a writer, so she wrote her answer to this issue below:
I have to go through an adjustment phase when I put on my hearing aid in the morning and take it out at night. Sometimes when I wake up, I’m not ready to deal with wearing a hearing aid or listening to sound. I am always reluctant to take out my hearing aid when I go to sleep, to surrender that ability that means so much to me is tough. I never know when I might need to hear something.
Seeing is Prominent to World Perceptions When You are Hearing Impaired
Without hearing, what I see becomes prominent to my perception about the world. I will begin to notice acute visual details of which I would have missed if I had heard the environment. This also occurs while I watch tv. If I can’t understand someone’s voice really well, I will only focus on their body and their mouth, instead of the eyes. My focus is on the mouth and the face until I am comfortable with what I am hearing, It takes more concentration and energy to look at people’s faces intensely and listen to what they are saying, which takes away some of the ease and fun of socializing.
Showering Without Hearing
“Taking a shower without hearing the water makes the shower feel very soothing, it’s a quiet environment with a mellow sound and I can focus on the water falling on my skin. When I hear the shower running, it is very noisy and loud to my ears almost hurting my ears and very distracting and creates anxiety in me.”
Sleeping in Silence
“Hearing sound is very stimulating. Most of the time I go to sleep without hearing any sound. One night my mom had her noise machine on to sleep to and I could hear it with my hearing aid out. To me, it was extremely distracting and I could not begin to fall asleep while I was hearing it. That surprised me that I could be unable to fall asleep because of the noise. I could finally understand why people complain about hearing to much noise at night and not being able to get to sleep.”
Grocery Shopping with Hearing Loss
“Not being able to hear, I am more disconnected from reality and people so I end up reacting to reality differently. This gives me a different view of life. Experiencing not wearing a hearing aid while going to places like the grocery store or swimming is very interesting. I feel like my brain is working differently in some ways, without the distraction or help of sound. In the store, I am unable to hear how much money my groceries cost. I tend to look at the display to verify what I saw their lips say or else I will ask them to repeat the amount. I also have to look for signs that someone will ask me if I want paper or plastic bags and response with plastic even though I may not have even been able to read the lips.”
Lack of Hearing Causes Separation
“Through my experiences, I have understood how not being able to hear has separated me from people and certain activities. I can watch some tv, read, take showers, see people and interact with them aside from speech communication, get around quickly, fulfill my bodily needs easily. When I can’t hear people, I am unable to enjoy the spontaneity of conversation, determine how a person is feeling or how they perceive something by the sound of their voice, or the subtleties of expression of tenderness, caring, support, empathy that is only available through speech. I also can’t hear music without my aid, which affects another way I can see life and people.”
Why Not Just Turn My Hearing Aid Off?
“There have been many times in my life when during a conversation, people will say “you can just turn your hearing aid off if you don’t like this or that.” Because they take hearing for granted, they don’t understand how much I appreciate being able to hear and how much effort I put into being able to hear, by wearing a hearing aid, going to hearing appointments for aid’s and ear molds, as well as struggle to hear what a person says.
It is difficult for me to convey to them that turning off my hearing aid because of an obnoxious situation is not an option I will choose, just like they can’t turn off their hearing. People half-jokingly suggest that I can turn off my hearing aid if I don’t like what someone is saying to me or if they are talking loudly. I look at them exasperated and wondering what in the world is that going to accomplish. Not being able to hear is very disabling and people don’t seem to realize the significance of that effect.” ~Heather Madsen
Would you like to hear more personal stories and have more information about being hearing impaired? Living with Hearing Loss is a hearing loss blog. Below is a link to a sample of one of their blogs: