10 Misconceptions I Had About Hearing Loss
I’m a hearing person with mild to moderate hearing loss. I’m also a scientist, and as such, I tend to be pretty rational about things. For example, I know that if you fall on an ice-covered sidewalk, you should not put your hand down in order to break your fall—you’ll end up with broken bones instead of just bruises. Still, there are some misconceptions about hearing loss that everyone seems to have heard somewhere along the way (and likely believed at one point or another), even though they are completely untrue! In this post, we’ll take a look at 10 common misconceptions about living with hearing loss and debunk each one:
1. You are only deaf if you were born without hearing.
Deafness is not a disability. It is a condition, and it affects people of all ages and backgrounds. With that said, you are only deaf if you were born without hearing. However, most people who experience hearing loss do so later in life due to age or illness.
Hearing loss can happen for many reasons including:
- Aging (senior citizens)
- Ear infections (children)
- Noise exposure (heavy machinery)
2. Hearing aids will make me hear like a normal person again.
One of the most common misconceptions about hearing aids is that they will make you hear like a normal person again. After all, if your hearing aids are working well and you have them adjusted properly, shouldn’t everything sound clearer? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.
Hearing aids amplify sounds so that they can be heard by your brain better; however, hearing aids cannot make up for the missing frequencies or sounds that are not able to travel through your ear canal or eardrum. Hearing loss can negatively affect how someone hears in different situations, such as at home versus at work or with background noise versus listening to music alone in their room with no distractions around them—and there’s nothing a pair of hearing aids can do about this! However…
3. If I can’t hear, obviously I can’t listen.
You might think that if you can’t hear, you can’t listen. But listening is a skill that can be learned and practiced just like any other. I used to mistakenly believe that hearing loss meant listening loss as well—that people with hearing loss would never be able to listen attentively to anything.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite! People who have experienced multiple losses in their hearing will tell you that they are more aware of what’s going on around them now than before they started losing their hearing. They know how important it is to pay attention at all times because they don’t want to miss out on something important. This heightened awareness leads many people with hearing loss who were once introverts into extroverts as they learn how fun it is connecting with others through conversation and socialization!
4. My hearing loss is not that bad, so it’s not a big deal.
I know this is going to sound like a bad grammar joke, but it’s not: what is a big deal depends on the person. I’ve had so many people tell me that they’ve been very happy with their hearing loss because it was “not that bad.” In reality, if you are not happy at all with your hearing loss and/or the way it has affected your life, then YES IT IS A BIG DEAL!
I also think that when someone says something like “it’s not really a big deal” to describe their experience with hearing loss, what they’re really saying is “my situation isn’t so out of the ordinary.” But being diagnosed with any degree of hearing loss can be incredibly different for everyone! Our bodies are all built differently and our brains process sound in different ways—so even though my story might seem familiar to another person who has been through similar experiences as me; we’re still worlds apart.
5. Life with hearing loss is just fine, there’s nothing wrong with me, I don’t feel limited or challenged by it at all!
Hearing loss can be challenging. Hearing loss impacts your ability to communicate with others and participate in social activities, work, and enjoy music. The level of hearing loss determines how much these things will be affected.
Although I had been told this before, I hadn’t realized the full extent of the impact until after my surgery when I woke up unable to hear anything at all for several days. Because I was unable to communicate with others or use my phone (no one could understand me), it was necessary for my husband and friends’ parents to take over as my “interpreters.” They helped me get around town by using public transportation and filled out forms for me when needed so that I wouldn’t miss any important appointments due to lack of communication—or worse yet—the inability to attend them at all! In addition, since my hearing loss has impacted my social life significantly since then due to difficulty understanding what people are saying without them repeating themselves often; however nowadays most people tend not rephrase themselves unless they feel like being helpful instead of just taking advantage of my situation which doesn’t always make sense because why would anyone want something bad happening anyway? So now there’s no point even trying anymore–we just need each other now more than ever before!
6. Deaf people can’t speak, because they can’t hear their own voices.
>6. Deaf people can’t speak because they can’t hear their own voices.
This is a common misconception about deafness, but it’s simply not true. While speaking for deaf people does require some special considerations, such as being able to see your audience and making sure you’re facing them directly, deaf people do indeed speak. In fact, there are many different forms of sign language—American Sign Language (ASL) is just one of many in existence around the world! Some signs are similar across different languages while others vary greatly depending on where they were developed and by whom.
7. Deaf people can’t drive, they’re not safe on the road!
It is true that some hearing loss can affect your ability to drive safely, but it doesn’t have to. You can learn how to drive a car if you have hearing loss. And if you are deaf, there are special aids that will allow you to hear the sounds around you while driving. Even if both of these things apply to you, there’s still hope: there are also cars available with “eyes-off” technology that allows drivers who are blind or visually impaired (like my husband) to safely navigate the roads without having their eyes on the road at all times. This means they can look up and check mirrors without having to worry about being distracted by something outside their window!
So while driving may seem impossible in some instances, it’s actually quite possible for those who experience hearing loss or visual impairment!
8. Deaf people are less likely to be employed than hearing people, because they can’t hear instructions and can’t collaborate in a team setting.
The problem with this misconception is that it can lead to a lack of concern for communication accessibility, which is crucial when working with someone who is deaf.
If you’re worried about not being able to communicate with your co-worker or boss, don’t worry! There are many ways you can make sure everyone has access to the information they need:
- Make sure there’s a clear video call connection between all parties in the meeting.
- Use an interpreter if needed; hearing people often forget how difficult it can be for them because they’ve had years of practice with spoken language!
- If you’re working on something remotely via email or chat program (like Skype), use video calls as often as possible so everyone knows exactly what’s going on.
9. It’s impossible to do music if you’re deaf! Or…
I had the idea that music was something only done by people with hearing. But that’s not true! Deaf people can be musicians, composers, conductors, and performers. They can also be music teachers, music therapists and even directors of orchestras or choirs.
Deafness is no barrier to involvement in the world of music.
10. You must be really bummed about being deaf, right? You must wish you weren’t deaf at all?
You must be really bummed about being deaf, right? You must wish you weren’t deaf at all?
No. And no. I’m happy to be who I am and it’s been an incredible experience so far. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
There are a lot of misconceptions about what it means to have hearing loss
Hearing loss is a serious issue, but there are many misconceptions about what it means to have hearing loss. It’s important to know that you can still be happy and successful. You can still do everything you want to do, including being a good friend and a good parent, or being a good partner. Hearing aids help with hearing but they don’t fix the problem entirely—they will never make up for all of your lost hearing ability.
I hope that by now, you’ve got a better sense of what it means to live with hearing loss. You might be surprised at how little I hear and how much I still communicate. It’s not always easy, but I do it every day! That is why we want to dispel these myths about hearing loss and encourage people who are struggling with their hearing or know someone who is. If this blog post has helped you understand more about having a hearing impairment then please share it with your friends and family members so they can learn more about this too!