February 22, 2023
We are born with several senses that allow us to navigate through our world. Sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch, and balance are among them. We use these for safety, navigation, orientation, pleasure, and communication. Loss of any of these senses deprives us of a part of our accustomed world. We become more dependent on other people or on technology. We lose our independence. For hearing people who lose this sense or a great deal of it, they become more isolated and dependent at the same time. This terrible irony underlies the strain hearing loss can place on families.
The family is the most basic social network most people have. The older generations teach the younger ones how to talk, how to reason, how to communicate. We share stories, reminisce, teach, guide, and listen. Hearing plays a major role in family events. Whether it’s a school concert or sporting event, a game night at home, a trip to the movie theater or a meal at a large table, every family member deserves a voice and an opportunity to share in the communication.
Barriers to communication come in many forms. Some may seem to ignore others’ questions they did not hear. People may misunderstand and answer inappropriately. Some may feel resentment at being ignored. Some with hearing loss may essentially give up on communication and retreat from gatherings altogether. Young people may tend to give up on talking to others who don’t appear to hear them. We’ve all seen large groups celebrating at restaurants, with the great grandparents smiling and nodding at the end of the table. Noisy environments compound hearing problems. Couples may stop talking to each other when one or both keep saying, “What?”
It is common for hearing loss patients to report their family members are the ones who urged them to get help. This is a huge step in improving one’s quality of life and mending broken relationships or years of frustration. There is a good reason people say, “Dad, do you have your hearing aids in?” It is simply because they help. We can’t restore fully normal hearing, however the difference they make is valuable to the rest of the family. Many family members thank us for reuniting them with their loved ones.
Families are a source of comfort, tradition, education, love, and a sense of belonging. You can help maintain the communication that is at the heart of family interactions. Bring your loved ones back into the game. Let them hear you, and give them a change to participate and enjoy life again. We invite you visit our locations in Greece and Brighton, and contact us anytime for more information. As usual, all of us at Clear Choice Hearing and Balance wish to keep you on a clear path to good hearing and ear health.