Been there and done that: Lip reading, sitting in (or near) front rows, cupping your ears to hear better, nodding and smiling, and even joining others in laughter without knowing why.
Pretending to hear is a common coping strategy that is most likely used before an individual realizes the benefits of hearing aids. In hindsight, the coping strategies most use are often all ineffectual, except for one.
First, let’s begin with the one helpful coping strategy (which is only good when paired with hearing aids!).
Lip reading – good when paired with hearing aids
The coping strategy of lip reading can be an exceptionally useful and capable tool when accompanied by hearing aids that are fit correctly. Lip reading without hearing aids causes your brain to overwork itself while trying to translate unclear sounds along with everyone’s different and unique way of speaking. This can be very tiresome! Additionally, using lip reading as your only tool can often lead to critical misunderstanding.
Lip reading can help to correctly identify sounds and speech quicker. For those with severe hearing loss, reading lips can also be helpful in surroundings with overpowering noise.
Cupping your ears - don’t even bother!
Many people with hearing loss may try to cup a hand behind their ear in hopes of hearing sounds or speech better. The reason for doing this is to create a type of funnel to direct sound into the ear. While cupping your hand around your ear might be helpful in very loud situations, or when eavesdropping on whispers, but you’re still missing imperative speech and spatial cues needed for clear understanding.
Nodding, smiling and pretending you can hear – it only hurts you
Many people with hearing loss may find that it’s so much more helpful to kindly ask others to repeat themselves many times as opposed to nodding and acting like you can hear what’s being said. Why is this better? You’re only hurting yourself when you nod, smile, and act like you can hear, when you really actually can’t. If you happen to be hanging out with your friends, you’re literally missing the joy of interacting and engaging in conversation with the group. Furthermore, if you find yourself in a meeting at work, you could miss something quite important, for instance the tasks you’re supposed to complete! No need to lose your job because you decided to pretend you can hear.
Lastly, continuing to pretend you can hear becomes exhausting and only hurts you. Faking your life isn’t only aggravating, it’s robbing you of the happy life you deserve. As you keep on acting like you can hear, you’re depriving yourself of complete happiness with family, love, success and most any other personal satisfaction or gratification.
Laughing along while others are laughing - it could get a bit tricky
This is much the same as the act. By laughing when others are laughing is just like faking that smile and nod, pretending you’ve heard what was just said. Like before, you’re missing out and it can only hurt you. Also, whatever other people are laughing about could very well be something you shouldn’t or wouldn’t laugh at normally. Perhaps like a joke that is cruel and at the expense of someone else. So, don’t look at others and follow their laughter. Instead, allow yourself the chance to hear and like the joke and experience the joy of authentically laughing.
Why cope when you don’t have to?
At one time or another, coping methods have been used by everyone with hearing loss. Although it’s easy to pretend, life is much more rich and full with hearing aids. With the use of hearing aids, those struggling with hearing loss are able to hear in meetings, truly laugh at jokes, sincerely converse with loved ones and make real memories.
Call (888) 919-6824 or click here to find a hearing professional in your area who can help treat your hearing loss. You’ll be truly glad you did!