Age old stigmas and myths about hearing loss that don't go away

Posted by Julie, Volunteer Mentor @julieo4, Feb 1, 2021

There is a great deal of misunderstanding about hearing loss. Stigmas and myths abound. Let's talk about it. What are your thoughts on this topic?

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Hearing Loss group.

@joyces

When I walk into a meeting of a fairly small group (less than 20), I make a point of saying that I don't hear well and read lips, so really appreciate it when people face me while speaking. It works well with some people for at least the first half hour or so. During these Covid times, four of us are the only ones in the Backpacks pantry, and they all know I don't hear well. Sometimes one of them starts to talk from behind my back and then says, "Joyce probably can't even hear what I'm saying," and moves to a better place. I'm still getting used to the fact that now that my good ear has been invaded by the Meniere's Monster my hearing fluctuates, from hour to hour, day to day, which is really confusing for those who know me well. Sometimes, I can understand what the others are saying as we pack food boxes, everyone moving as they talk, but later I can't hear much at all. That's a tall hill to climb for those around me!

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Our hearing loss affects everyone around us; not just us. It's frustrating to have to repeat or wonder if someone understood. Sometimes it's best to just let it go.

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@julieo4

My hearing aid is blue. I've gone with the colored hearing aids for the last 35 years, once knew they existed. 🙂 And, during most of those years I had short hair. It does help when people know you're trying to help yourself. Let it show!

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Agreed! We are helped much more when we are our own best advocate!

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@julieo4

Our hearing loss affects everyone around us; not just us. It's frustrating to have to repeat or wonder if someone understood. Sometimes it's best to just let it go.

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I teach my lip reading students to not say "repeat"! You get the same thing the same way and it doesn't help much. Ask them to restate or rephrase instead. Speaker must pause, think, probably state a more direct version (think tree rather than forest), and hopefully slow down and speak clearer also. I wear my badge that says "Hard of Hearing, please face me and speak clearly " whenever I go out. What a difference!

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@th1

I teach my lip reading students to not say "repeat"! You get the same thing the same way and it doesn't help much. Ask them to restate or rephrase instead. Speaker must pause, think, probably state a more direct version (think tree rather than forest), and hopefully slow down and speak clearer also. I wear my badge that says "Hard of Hearing, please face me and speak clearly " whenever I go out. What a difference!

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@th1 Two great ideas, thank you. When working overseas in places where English wasn't the first language, I learned to automatically rephrase when it was apparent the person I was talking with didn't understand me. Too many people just repeated the same thing or spoke more loudly, which did no good.

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