Hearing Loss as a Teen: Eight Ways to Deal with the Changes
Hearing Loss can have a huge impact on one’s life, whatever age it happens. However, teens, who are already dealing with enormous changes due to puberty, have a really rough deal if it coincides with that. Being a teen has its own set of intense challenges without adding this to the list. But, if you do find yourself in this position, continue reading for eight ways to deal with the changes in a positive way.
Hearing Loss Duration
When it comes to hearing loss, there are many preconceived ideas about what will and will no longer be possible. Most people find that they do not fit neatly into any particular box, and their own circumstances are fairly unique. So, rather than listening to people attempting to give you advice when they have zero personal experience, instead, educate yourself. Use pamphlets provided by your audiology department at the hospital and legitimate websites.
Once you have found out all the essential information linked to your own hearing loss, you will then be in a position to educate others. We do not mean that in a patronizing way, but you could do it in a way that will support your friends and family members to best help you. If they do not fully understand what you are going through, it may be challenging for them to be there for you.
Ask about your options
If you have been advised to use a hearing aid, you should ask about the different types available to you. You could even go to your appointments fully prepared, having carried out your own research about the best bluetooth hearing aids, for example. If you have questions or are not comfortable with something that has been suggested, be sure to raise any potential concerns or ask questions there and then. For instance, if you play a sport, you may feel anxious about it working loose or not being suitable, so ask the questions you want to know the answers to.
While it may feel as though the impact of your hearing loss will be profound, you can help yourself by owning it. If you are concerned about the appearance of your hearing aid, why not accessorize, it and make it a statement piece? If you create something that makes you unique, you may feel as though you have greater confidence and can rock the look. A lack of confidence will be evident, but you could fake it to make it if you really struggle.
Speak to school
When hearing loss has been a sudden change, there will be many questions and perhaps not quite as many answers. It is vital that you share your situation with school, enabling them to best support you throughout your school life. Seating plans within the classrooms may be adjusted to allow you closer to the front to hear better or to use technology, such as a recording device, to better allow you to learn. Your school staff will also be able to help you share your new challenges with your peers, helping them to help you, too.
Learn sign language
While your hearing loss may not be as profound as you expect people who converse using sign language to be, it is something that is certainly encouraged. Try to get friends and family members on board, too. If your hearing deteriorates, it may be that ASL along with lip reading may help you to get by, and the better prepared you are, the fewer hurdles you will need to overcome.
Being diagnosed with hearing loss can be detrimental to self-confidence and self-esteem. Being a teen is difficult enough anyway without having something that makes you different. However, devoted friends will support you regardless. Rather than locking yourself away and cutting off the outside world, be sure to continue to socialize. While things might feel different for a while, getting out and about is so important. Furthermore, you should investigate if there are social opportunities within your neighbourhood for deaf teens, so you are able to meet and chat with people experiencing similar to yourself.
Speak to someone
Whether it is your school counsellor or someone your parents are able to fund, speaking to someone properly will ensure that you are able to explore your feelings and help you to come to terms with your hearing loss diagnosis. It may not even be an immediate need but something that you feel the need to explore, later on, several months or even years after diagnosis.
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