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Hearing Loss Harms More than Just Listening

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Losing your hearing is a frightening thing, but it is something that 10% of Canadian go through, according to Hear-It.org. Hearing loss not only affects the way you perceive the world, but can have serious consequences in your daily life in several areas:

Depression. Loss of hearing typically happens over a slower period of time that the loss of a limb, for example, but the loss of capability affects people in very similar ways. Not being able to enjoy music or other types of audio can lead to lingering feelings of regret. This, in turn, can lead to self-blaming or even cycle into depression. If you are suffering from hearing loss, know that you'll likely undergo the five stages of grief just as if you've lost someone close to you. Don't be afraid to turn to a therapist for help dealing with emotions like regret and sadness over hearing loss.

Communication Issues. Most of our day to day communication is conducted through audio means. Unfortunately for those with hearing loss, many of the subtleties of conversation can be lost. You may strain to hear certain people speak or often ask your friends to repeat themselves. Even if they know that you suffer from hearing loss, your friends may still subconsciously resent you for difficult communication and may even avoid you entirely. It's best to speak to your friends and family members know up front about how your hearing loss might affect your relationships.

Accidents. You know to look both ways before crossing the street, but in truth, not many of us actually do. Instead, we tend to rely upon audio clues to know if a car is coming down the road. If you've become accustomed to using your ears to avoid accidents, you should take special care to use your eyes to make up for your hearing loss. It can take some getting used to--the trick is to remain mindful and remind yourself constantly that you need your other senses more.

Lack of Employment. In fields that require a great deal of communication, employers might be wary about hiring someone who is hard of hearing. They may believe that because you have hearing loss, you might miss important details in phone conversations or meetings. Discriminating against hiring someone based on their hearing loss is against the law in Canada. If you feel like you have been unfairly treated by an employer due to your audio disability, you can contact the Canadian Human Rights Commission for information about your rights.

If you are worried about losing your hearing, you can contact an audiologist for a hearing test and advice on how to avoid hearing loss.