Hearing Loss Experiences - Can you find humor in some of it?

Posted by Julie, Volunteer Mentor @julieo4, Jul 20, 2021

People with hearing loss can easily mishear and respond to something out of context. Obviously, this can be a big problem. Most often it's not. How about sharing some of the experiences we have had. I believe that being able to laugh and find humor in some of our experiences can be healthy. What do you think?

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

@julieo4
Hi Julie,

I just read over the responses to your question. I agree that a positive light hearted approach to one’s hearing loss will lessen the stress and actually help improve listening….it helps both you and the people trying to communicate with you. However, after 40 years of progressive hearing loss, I still don’t find the humor in it…and I am an upbeat positive 80 year old.

Aside from a rare few mishearing events with my immediate family (falling on the floor laughing type) around a table I still feel some embarrassment when I respond inappropriately to someone.

I am not embarrassed about my hearing loss but it hits home when I do or say something that had nothing to do with anything. Other people’s responses to my gaffe make a huge difference. We all know there are some insensitive and cruel people out there and we have all met our share of them. I have learned not to be too quick to respond and that is against my nature because I always have something to say.

So I think most of us will honestly find few humorous anecdotes to share. Thank you Julie for always posting discussions that get us thinking.

@tonyinmi
I was born with full hearing which started to deteriorate in my mid thirties. I think my first analog hearing aid was when I was about 40 and it was mild. So I agree about missing what we used to hear quite well and how that might be worse than having been born deaf. But that is a personal observation and might be disputed by many Deaf people. I really miss the lyrics in music today. That’s probably why I love the music from he 50s and 60s.

@jshdma
I can’t imagine the pain of losing hearing for someone like you. Being a musician is not only your profession….its your life and who you are. I hope you find some solutions with all the technology available today ( not available when I was experiencing my loss). But music, for me, is just not the same.

FL Mary

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@jshdma

I taught university students. Presumably a student with hearing loss would be wearing a hearing aid, just as a person with impaired vision would be wearing glasses (usually).. Or, he might always sit in front in order to hear better. A deaf student would never be in a my class, since he could not hear the lectures. I do not think less of any person with a handicap; if anything, they get credit for working against their disadvantage. I do not think people would think less of me. But I know that a musician wearing a hearing aid is self-identified as deficient in his own field. Already, the need to adjust playing my instrument so to avoid higher volumes basically means that I cannot practice my profession properly. Thank you for your interest.

Jump to this post

I'm sorry you are not getting the support you need. Yes, hearing loss is a disability. It is not a sign of aging, nor is it a sign of intellectual ineptness or inability. Many hearing aids do not show, so you would not necessarily know if someone in your presence was using them.

I know several musicians who use hearing technology, and are thankful that technology is available to them.

Research shows that untreated hearing loss can lead to depression. Depression can lead to many other problems. You say you are depressed. Are you getting help for that? I hope so.

I encourage you to get hearing help, protect the hearing you have, and find ways to make the adjustments necessary to live a good life. As a bonus, you may even find ways to help others who experience what you are experiencing now.

You can do this.

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@julieo4

I'm sorry you are not getting the support you need. Yes, hearing loss is a disability. It is not a sign of aging, nor is it a sign of intellectual ineptness or inability. Many hearing aids do not show, so you would not necessarily know if someone in your presence was using them.

I know several musicians who use hearing technology, and are thankful that technology is available to them.

Research shows that untreated hearing loss can lead to depression. Depression can lead to many other problems. You say you are depressed. Are you getting help for that? I hope so.

I encourage you to get hearing help, protect the hearing you have, and find ways to make the adjustments necessary to live a good life. As a bonus, you may even find ways to help others who experience what you are experiencing now.

You can do this.

Jump to this post

Thank you, Julie. You are very kind and thoughtful. This is just me; probably can't be helped. Also, it's part of several other problems going on right now. So it's all mixed together. I am a hard worker, but no amount of work solves this kind of thing. That's very frustrating.

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@imallears

@julieo4
Hi Julie,

I just read over the responses to your question. I agree that a positive light hearted approach to one’s hearing loss will lessen the stress and actually help improve listening….it helps both you and the people trying to communicate with you. However, after 40 years of progressive hearing loss, I still don’t find the humor in it…and I am an upbeat positive 80 year old.

Aside from a rare few mishearing events with my immediate family (falling on the floor laughing type) around a table I still feel some embarrassment when I respond inappropriately to someone.

I am not embarrassed about my hearing loss but it hits home when I do or say something that had nothing to do with anything. Other people’s responses to my gaffe make a huge difference. We all know there are some insensitive and cruel people out there and we have all met our share of them. I have learned not to be too quick to respond and that is against my nature because I always have something to say.

So I think most of us will honestly find few humorous anecdotes to share. Thank you Julie for always posting discussions that get us thinking.

@tonyinmi
I was born with full hearing which started to deteriorate in my mid thirties. I think my first analog hearing aid was when I was about 40 and it was mild. So I agree about missing what we used to hear quite well and how that might be worse than having been born deaf. But that is a personal observation and might be disputed by many Deaf people. I really miss the lyrics in music today. That’s probably why I love the music from he 50s and 60s.

@jshdma
I can’t imagine the pain of losing hearing for someone like you. Being a musician is not only your profession….its your life and who you are. I hope you find some solutions with all the technology available today ( not available when I was experiencing my loss). But music, for me, is just not the same.

FL Mary

Jump to this post

@imallears I agree with you. Hearing loss is not funny. The humor surrounding my hearing loss experiences has come mostly when associating with other people like me; through HLAA. No one likes to be laughed at. So many times when we misunderstand something in conversation we don't even know we've responded out of context unless someone tells us. That's when the embarrassment comes in.

Some interesting conversations have been generated at HLAA events through role playing exercises. People share their miscue stories via those role plays. Others identify with them through personal experiences and things lighten up. Being able to 'lighten up' is a huge stress reliever.

I've presented programs on stress management where we take time to have a 60 second belly laugh to then evaluate the feelings people have after the experience.

Again, doing these things, and discussing the funny and also the not so funny things that have happened to us due to hearing loss, does help lighten the load we carry. There's much to be said about the old saying "Laugh and the whole world laughs with you; cry and you cry alone."

Attending the national HLAA conventions over the years has made me feel like a kid going to summer camp. It's a place to laugh, talk, learn and feel 100% normal. 🙂 I wonder if we've met.

There are many cartoons about hearing loss. Do we laugh when we see them or get angry? (Click on the cartoons and you'll be able to see them in full.)

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@julieo4

Some cartoons I laugh at and some I am puzzled at. The beer one is cute but the Listening Aid one is puzzling although I know
what it means. It is misleading information again so I just shake my head.

FL Mary

REPLY
@imallears

@julieo4

Some cartoons I laugh at and some I am puzzled at. The beer one is cute but the Listening Aid one is puzzling although I know
what it means. It is misleading information again so I just shake my head.

FL Mary

Jump to this post

Exactly. Many of those cartoons give people a very distorted view of HL. I have about 500 more.

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@julieo4

Yikes…500 ….please …..no more cartoons related to hearing or Covid lol.

FL Mary

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@imallears

@julieo4

Yikes…500 ….please …..no more cartoons related to hearing or Covid lol.

FL Mary

Jump to this post

No more cartoons although some are pretty thought provoking. I've used them in presentations to generate discussion many times. Again, hearing loss is not 'funny ha ha', but the way some people perceive it can be 'funny odd'. There's quite a difference.

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@julieo4

No more cartoons although some are pretty thought provoking. I've used them in presentations to generate discussion many times. Again, hearing loss is not 'funny ha ha', but the way some people perceive it can be 'funny odd'. There's quite a difference.

Jump to this post

@julieo4
That’s a great idea about using them for presentations.

FL Mary sitting in the 90 degree sun for about 5minutes

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@imallears

@julieo4
That’s a great idea about using them for presentations.

FL Mary sitting in the 90 degree sun for about 5minutes

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Believe it or not, I am in Northern Minnesota. It's hotter here than it is in Florida. Humid too. Not my kind of weather. Stay cool FL Mary. Do you know that the national HLAA convention will be in Florida next June? I hope to see you there.

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To answer the original question: YES, it is possible to find the humor. The key is to be able to laugh with your close people about what you hear and what they said. Hearing loss is terribly frustrating for everyone – both the person who has the loss and their family, coworkers, clerks and others. I turned to meditation to help me cope with my frustration and grief.

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@jshdma

Thank you, Julie. You are very kind and thoughtful. This is just me; probably can't be helped. Also, it's part of several other problems going on right now. So it's all mixed together. I am a hard worker, but no amount of work solves this kind of thing. That's very frustrating.

Jump to this post

Talk with your audiologist about Cochlear Implant (CI). When your hearing loss reached the eligibility level, I encourage you to choose Cochlear Implant. I hadn’t enjoyed music for years, post-CI and lots of rehab training, I love listening to music again! There are some good posts out there by musicians and others in the entertainment field. CI has completely changed my life!

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