One issue that comes up quite often is how one’s hearing affects those around them. Since I wear hearing aids, I can speak to this concept directly.

This past weekend I went to my 30th high school reunion. The hearing aid manufacturer we use needed to take my hearing aids to the factory, so I didn’t have anything for my reunion. As my family and I traveled back to the Denver area, there were several instances where I would not hear a customer service person while walking through a mall or a question my family asked me. At the reunion, I had to get into the ear of the old friends to hear their names (I couldn’t tell who they were because their faces had changed enough in that time). I thought one guy named Sean told me his name was JOHN, even after he repeated it over and again. It was annoying too many times. I also nodded my head several times without understand what my friends were saying in that sports bar. Now we all need to know sports bars are DIFFICULT places to hear to begin with, but this was ridiculous for me.

I was not concerned about others knowing about my hearing loss, but guess what? When I can’t understand those people, they do not feel they are being heard. For women and my son, my hearing loss can give the impression that I do not care about what they are saying, which is the furthest thing from the truth. Hearing loss ABSOLUTELY affects those you love. Don’t lie to yourself about that; I’ve experience it myself.