Would you believe me if I told you that you could be a real-life superhero? Well, maybe not quite Superman or Batman, but certainly a perfectly respectable hero in your own right.
Hearing loss is something that a lot of people simply don’t understand, despite the fact that there are currently over 48 million Americans suffering from it. It could happen to us all at some stage, yet, when was the last time somebody spoke frankly to you about it?
Why not be a hero for hearing loss! Take the steps below to educate the world around you and make it a happier, more accepting and less isolating place for those with a hearing loss who might not have the courage to take a stand.
Step 1: Educate yourself
There are many different types of hearing loss, and many solutions to them. First, understand your own hearing loss. Do you struggle with high frequencies, for example, kids’ or female voices? Or maybe you have a constant ringing in your ears? Knowing what you’re talking about is the best way to educate others successfully. One of our hearing care professionals would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Step 2: Be open
Do you often find yourself straining to hear people in loud places, and feeling cut off when you just can’t? How about grabbing the bull by the horns and explaining at the very beginning that you have a hearing loss and need to be able to lip read or face someone directly? Avoid awkward situations like these by being upfront and honest. It will benefit both you and the people you’re talking to.
Step 3: Speak up
Be aware that most businesses have to make adequate accommodations when they have disabled staff or customers, and that includes those with a hearing loss. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for changes when you need them – it is your right.
Of course, it isn’t easy, and most of us would do anything for an easy life. But in taking these steps: educating yourself, being open with those around you, and speaking up when things aren’t right, you are paving the way for others to have an easier life.
So go on, be a hero for hearing loss and help change the world.
Dr. Heidi J. Sorrells obtained her doctorate degree from Salus University in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota. She is a certified Audiologist by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and she holds a Louisiana and a Texas Audiology License. Dr. Sorrells enjoys all aspects of working in a private practice audiology clinic but especially loves the challenges of vestibular (balance) assessment and rehabilitation.