Things I Wish People Knew About Hearing Loss (And Hearing Aids)

I am hearing impaired. I wear hearing aids in both my right and left ear & they help me hearing more clearly (or if not, better) I am what you call partially deaf which basically just means I may hear some sounds and may hear words. And for those who are wondering i was born with around about 80% of my hearing and my speech for a someone with hearing impairment is very good as i when i was young i picked up lip reading (although i'm not sure how). I am also a twin but my twin sister isn't hearing impaired.

I can get frustrated with myself when i don't understand people in big crowds or large spaces especially if there is lots of noise in the background. And i know people do to. My hearing impairment is part of my identity and i'm okay with that because it's just happens to be part of my life and i'm not ashamed of my hearing impairment, why should i be?

1) Not everyone who is hearing impaired/hard of hearing has the same amount of hearing loss. So don't just assume. Ask.

2) Some lip read (like i do) and some sign, it all depends how one prefers to communicate.

3) It is hurtful when you tell me i'm not listening. I'm trying.

4) My hearing aids tend to be uncomfortable when i wear them for long periods of time. It's my choice if i choose not to wear them, not yours.

5) Saying i speak well for a deaf or hard of hearing person is actually offensive.

6) Talking slowly doesn't mean i can hear you, please don't patronis me. It's offensive even if you don't mean to be.

7) Don't brush me aside if i miss hear you or ask you to repeat what you just said. I sometimes i get the words wrong but that doesn't mean i wasn't listening. And say 'oh doesn't matter, it's not important'

8) A few simple things that would go a long way, like facing me when you speak and not mumble (speak clearly), most importantly keep your lips visible. I'm trying my best to hear you.

9) Treat me the same as everyone else, i'd like to be involved in your conversations and so i fully understand you I lip read. My hearing loss makes things harder for you. And if I’m being honest, it makes things harder for me too.

10) Just because i have a hearing difficulty, it doesn't mean i'm invisible and how you treat me affects me and how you talk to me affects me.

I think some people forget that someone who is hard of hearing or deaf are human too. So when you meet a hard of hearing person involve them in your group of friends, learn more about them and just get to know them because having a hearing loss can be isolating without the world making it worse. 

When i was younger and got my first hearing aids at 7 years old, i thought i was pretty special because there was no one i knew that wore hearing aids or hard of hearing. It felt good to be different and it still is good to be different.
I'm not gonna sugarcoat it and say that my hearing loss doesn't hold me back because in all honesty it sometimes does. It does affect my confidence but i'm not ashamed of my hearing impairment because it's who i am.

If you have questions about my hearing impairment, i'd gladly try and answer some of them for you. 

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