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Hearing Loss

Hi,

I'm Val. I lost my hearing and am having a hard time coping. I am here to make some friends and want to stop isolating myself. I've found it extremely difficult to go out in public and stay home all the time. I'd like to read about others that have some of the same issues I do and see how they cope.

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Hi Val my name is Rosanna I’m deaf in one ear and only 45% hearing in my good ear I too am loosing my hearing and I suffer with tinnitus. I’m new to this site so I too can make friends with people who I can relate with . I’m going to start learning sign language . It’s nice to meet you

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Nice to meet you. I have tinnitus too. Do you have a lot of anxiety related to your hearing loss? I know I do. I'm trying to deal with but it's very hard.

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Hi Val

I’m Wendy - I lost my hearing completely last year (very suddenly after being treated for severe sepsis and multiple organ failure). I’m 48 and before this sudden illness had always been fit & healthy. I struggle with anxiety too and feel I rely heavily on my family since becoming deaf. I want to feel more independent and return to work at some point. I have to really push myself to go out socially. It’s very isolating and especially when you are adjusting to hearing loss while also recovering from serious illness. I was very fortunate (I think!?) to have a cochlear implant fitted. This gives me some artificial hearing (in one ear). It’s helped for conversation but it’s of little help in noisy situations and I can’t hear music or use the telephone/hear the television so I rely on subtitles. I see a psychologist for help in adjusting and I’m starting lip reading classes in a few weeks. Every day is different for me - I have had severe tinnitus since I lost my hearing which is worse when I feel anxious.

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I thought with a cochlear implant you would be able to hear and understand clearly. You still need to lipread to understand? Do you think your implants are worth it? I see people in videos crying and understanding everything people say to them. I guess that's not the case. How long have you had the implant? I saw there is a lot of training required with the device.

I have tinnitus too. Sometimes I think that deafness can be so loud. I know that is contradictory but for me I swear I hear noises from ringing to roaring.

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Hi again Valorrian

I’ve had my cochlear implant for a year now ....I think it is worth it but it’s very different to natural hearing & although I can manage conversation in quiet environments I need to also lip read if there is any background noise (traffic/wind/other people talking or general background noise in restaurants/shops/coffee shops) . Some people seem to adjust better with the implant than others. I do wonder if I’m too harsh a critic as I went from perfect hearing to no hearing so suddenly and then got my CI very quickly. There is lots of good advice and information on here and hopefully understanding that you are not alone in what you are experiencing will give you some reassurance. I’m still finding my way! And yes I totally get what you are saying re the tinnitus - mine roars and swooshes about my head - gets louder if I’m overtired or stressed so it’s all learning to balance things.

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Hi Val

I'm really sorry to hear that you are struggling with your hearing loss and I completely relate to everything you have said. Hearing loss certainly knocks a person's confidence but I can assure you that you will indeed find your way back back, it just takes a bit of time to adjust and learn that you can still do the things you used to enjoy; you just have to do them a different way.

Let me recommend first of all, getting in touch with the helpdesk at hearinglink.org/ - the helpdesk is manned by individuals like yourself, who live every day with hearing loss and have learned to adapt themselves. If you have questions or you just want to chat with someone who understands, please do use the service and they can advise you further. I'm not sure if you are in the UK, but if you are, please consider applying for one of the support programmes that Hearing Link runs - these are a great way to learn some new coping skills & get information and most importantly, meet other people who are going through similar journeys to yourself.

If you are a facebook user, you might find the groups facebook.com/groups/hearing... and facebook.com/groups/UKHLC/ useful to join. As you say, isolation and loneliness can be problem, but once you realise that you are far from alone in living with hearing loss, it goes a long way to improving how you feel about yourself.

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Thanks for the links. I will into them. I am in the US. I did ask if I could use some of the resources on the one page but they said I'd have to be in the UK. Thanks again.

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In that case, do try getting in touch at hearingloss.org/ - The Hearing Loss Association of America, and see if they have any groups local to you. I am a firm believer that meeting others in the same boat is a great way to boost your confidence. And get on those Facebook groups (even the uk one) if you can - read, post, comment. You will find a wealth of advice, support and camaraderie. Above all, stay connected to people and don't fall into the isolation trap (I did for a number of years, and it's not good!)

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Thanks for the link. I will look at it tonight. I am not quite ready to get out and interact with other people. I have a lot of anxiety and panic attacks. Right now, I am meeting someone to teach me some sign language a few times a week. I've just had my second lesson on Monday. Before I went to both sessions I had panic attacks and threw up from nerves.

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Completely understand how you feel, I have been there too. But it does get easier the more you venture out. When I was making my own moves to get back into the world, I too attended sign language class and I had practically the same reaction as you are having. I also attended lipreading classes which were great because I was able to meet other people with hearing loss too- the sign language class ironically was all hearing students apart from myself and the tutor so the lipreading class was a better fit for me in many ways.

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Where would you sign up for lipreading classes? Do they offer them like sign language classes? I've never seen them.

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Well, its hard for me to speak for how it works in the US, but yes here they would be offered in a similar manner as sign language classes . They are useful from the point of view of learning a useful skill that can help out in the world (where lets face it very few people will be sign language users), but I also found them to be very helpful with respect to socialising oneself in a safer environment.

This is hopefully something that the HLAA can help you with or even try asking on facebook.com/groups/hearing... facebook group - I recall seeing a few American members on there. If you have an audiologist, they may also be able to provide some pointers.

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You might be able to find an equivalent to ATLA which is the UK charity teaching adults lipreading. I find lipreading classes help with the isolation as they also act as support groups

Yours,

Nell

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