Hearing loss can happen to anyone, and without proper treatment, it will often progress to the stage where the patient can no longer hear soft sounds or barely hear conversations. Since hearing loss can continue to worsen over time, there are five stages in which everyone that experiences hearing loss goes through. If a loved one or you are in the midst of these stages, it’s important to recognize each stage and work through it. The more quickly someone gets through it, the faster they will be able to get the help they need. Below are the five stages of hearing loss:
A person at this stage often denies that they have hearing loss. A patient in denial always claim other people mumble or talk too fast, they don’t speak clearly or that they hear what people are saying even if they don’t respond. It’s one of the most challenging stages to get through because the patients aren’t willing to admit that they have hearing loss problem.
Hearing loss can cause the person suffering to become hot-tempered if left untreated. Hearing loss patients may think they are the butt of the joke if they cannot listen to their friends’ jokes or comments. The person becomes less tolerant of others because of the frustrations. In some cases, they question their beliefs and their faith, wondering how something so horrible could happen to them. Unfortunately, this emotion can take many down a dangerous path if they don’t get the support that they need.
Low self-esteem, suspicion of others, the loss of social interaction, the inability to easily do things that used to be problem free, loneliness and isolation can eventually lead to the person becoming depressed. This stage can make someone feel numb and can cause them to lose hope. In this stage, it is vital that you include the patient in your activities and conversations, and acknowledge his or her worries about social situations.
The person acknowledges that they have a problem at this stage and desperately making a deal with God and promising to only listen to old hymns if God restores their hearing. Often this stage is private to the individual, and may not be shared with those around them.
This stage is when the individual finally accepts their hearing loss and decides to seek treatment. The person chooses to comply with the doctor’s advice and wear hearing aids at this acceptance stage. It commonly happens when they realize they are missing out on too much. Supports are still necessary at this stage, as patients often require help getting a hearing aid device or adjusting to life after treatment.
Hearing loss often carries an emotional stigma that prevents the individual from seeking treatment. However, many people take so long to go through the five stages of hearing loss; they are often faced with a longer and more difficult journey back to being able to listen well. Getting hearing aids are a more effective way of treating hearing loss and wearing a hearing aid shouldn’t be any different than wearing glasses to help you see.