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Hearing Loss and Aging

Aging adults with hearing loss often feel a sense of shame related directly to difficulties in understanding what is being said. Feelings of isolation occur when elders are left out of group conversations. Elders with hearing loss may choose isolation over humiliation. It has been said that individuals have 5 basic needs & hearing loss affects these needs which include:

  • Survival – unheard warnings;
  • Love & belonging – limits on intimacy;
  • Power & recognition – career performance;
  • Freedom – self-sufficiency;
  • Fun – all life sounds that make us smile.

Meeting these basic needs can be hard and especially in the life of a hearing-impaired older adult who may struggle with:

  • hearing alarms or telephones
  • understanding someone while on the phone
  • understanding when several people are talking
  • understanding when a speaker’s face is unseen
  • hearing in a car
  • following speech on TV
  • understanding whispering
  • understanding people in a large room
  • being unaware someone is talking
  • ordering food & understanding cashiers or sales clerks

Thus, the stress of living with hearing loss generates many reactions:

  • distrust
  • chronic sadness & depression
  • nervousness
  • anger & irritability
  • isolation
  • poor self-image
  • feelings of incompetence or inadequacy
  • feeling marginalized

Those with hearing loss feel isolated & lonely within their own families. They miss the side conversations or easy banter during family outings or conversations. And family members feel just as lonely. They’ve lost a comfortable relationship because hearing loss affects everyone in the family.

But there’s good news! Hearing loss can be treated! The Shea Clinic Ear Nose & Throat and the Shea Hearing Aid Center can make your lives better in assisting you and your loved ones on the journey to better hearing! Give us a call at (901) 761-9720 to make an appointment. You’ll be glad you did!

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