Touchy about hearing loss?

dame-edna-CC_BY-James-Cridland.jpg
It’s funny how people tend to be more sensitive about their hearing than their eyesight.

I certainly include myself in this over-sensitive group. Cheerfully I admit to hearing loss. Proudly I wear my cunning little Phonax hearing aids. But poke me the wrong way and I’ll still bristle with indignation.

Partly, I’m reacting to another funny thing about human nature: I’ve noticed that the more defensive people are about their own hearing, the more they are likely to comment on other people’s hearing.

So when a person with poor hearing comments on my poor hearing, logic flees. These two people are incapable of having a sensible conversation on the topic of hearing, because rumbling under the spoken words are other powerful silent messages, such as…

“Your hearing is worse than my hearing.”
“You need hearing aids.”
“Pot calling the kettle black.”

And our listening gets worse and worse. Neither of us can bear to hear certain truths.

During one such exchange recently, a sister had to step in and tell us two deafish persons to drop the subject. Our conversation was going nowhere. Being over-sensitive about our hearing had made us socially inept. And rude. And deaf.

This is kind of weird, don’t you think? I never pick up on similar vibes about eyesight. Maybe that’s just me. I love glasses.

Life lessons for myself

  • If you’ve got poor eyesight, flaunt it—like Dame Edna Everage
  • If other people say you are getting deaf, you are getting deaf
  • Hearing aids are not perfect but they are cute

 

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24 thoughts on “Touchy about hearing loss?

  1. Oh so true and it is too easy for sufferers to miss out on the joy of simple random conversations. “God that plum tree looks beautiful.” …”What’s humming?”…. after the third iteration….”Oh forget it.”
    I call it the Silent Disability.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like my husband and me. Neither of us wear aids yet but neither of us can hear as well as we’d like. I know it. My husband is in denial exclaiming that he has 20-20 hearing (whatever that means). However when it comes to watching TV he cranks up the volume twice what I need. I stopped pointing it out because..as your sister said…the conversation goes nowhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is strange indeed. I’m on the cusp of needing hearing aids, according to my visit with the specialist who examined me. At this point he says I can take them or leave them. Since they are so very expensive here in the US, I’m leaving them for now. Instead I’m saving for a trip to Iceland in May! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As one who wears hearing aids, I know of what you speak. I’ve had those conversations, a few with my husband. When he doesn’t hear me, it’s because I’m mumbling. When I don’t hear him, it’s because I’m deaf. Whew!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My hearing started going awry after too many very loud rock gigs in my younger days, and I’ve had a degree of tinnitus most of my life (not sure why, possibly sinuses as well) so I rarely comment on anyone else’s hearing loss. My M.I.L. is fairly deaf and refuses to wear a hearing aid and I recall an uncle when I was a child who used to take his hearing aid out when he didn’t want to listen to the family, but that’s really the only two things I can think of about it. As for whether it’s more or less an emotional topic than eyesight, I suppose the majority of people are more visually-sensed than auditory-sensed, so maybe that’s why?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Having worked with many individuals trying to adjust to hearing loss and aids use, and with some of their family members, the coping is highly individual dependent on numerous factors I think. Usually if one sense weakens another sense will tend to compensate — vision often doing so for hearing. Certainly some of the compensatory skills we teach call for increased use of vision.

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