Hearing Loss Is No Laughing Matter

Image courtesy of Jean Scheijen.

Never mind the eyes playing tricks on you. With hearing loss, the ears do, as well.

“I’m watching Mary Knival, tonight,” said my mother-in-law.

“Who is Mary Knival?” I asked.

“No. A-m-e-r-i-c-a-n  I-d-o-l,” she replied.

And so goes the sometimes funny, frequently frustrating, struggles that I have with hearing loss. Life would be much easier if people came with subtitles!

Click to read my slideshow on Hearing Loss with Rheumatoid Arthritis on HealthCentral.com.

I Have Hearing Loss; I Also Have RA

“You’re mumbling.” For other signs of hearing loss, check out Slide 2.

I discovered that I had high frequency hearing loss. I’ve found it to be far more isolating, exhausting and debilitating than RA, and that says a lot. Fortunately, I’ve been fitted with some good hearing aids – thanks to the excellent customer service experience from the Langley, B.C. Costco!

From my slideshow on Hearing Loss with Rheumatoid Arthritis on HealthCentral.com.:

Does rheumatoid arthritis (RA), affect hearing? The data is often contradictory. A review of studies on hearing loss in people with RA found that theyare at a higher risk of hearing impairment. “In spite of wide diversity regarding published results, it is obvious that hearing impairment in RA is a multifactorial disease, since it can be affected by environmental factors (e.g. smoking), and disease characteristics (e.g. rheumatoid nodule) as well as patients’ characteristic (e.g. age).”

Tips for Your Family and Friends

Apart from wearing a big sign around your neck stating that you have hearing loss, all you can do is (often! *sigh*) remind your family and friends to:

  • Speak clearly.
  • Look directly at the listener when speaking.
  • Remain in the same room when you’re having a conversation.
  • Turn off/down background noise like television, radio or music.
  • Recognize that talkingtalkingtalking is exhausting to the listener. Develop good conversational skills. (You each take turns speaking and listening.)

Click to read my slideshow on Hearing Loss with Rheumatoid Arthritis on HealthCentral.com.

4 Replies to “Hearing Loss Is No Laughing Matter”

  1. Thanks for the excellent tips, Marianna. VERY glad you found some good hearing aids. I’ve had a few of my own Emily Litella moments (fondly recalling Gilda Radner), and while they can be humorous, they can also be very frustrating for all involved,

    When my uncle was in the hospital dying, he called me close to him. I assumed he wanted to offer some words of wisdom from a courageous, well-lived life. “Tell your mother to wear her hearing aids!” he told me. I did laugh, but knew how serious the subject was. She hated her hearing aids and stopped listening to most of what people said, reshaping her life and relationships around her hearing loss.

    Again, thank you for an important post. Warmest regards from chilly Brooklyn. ~ Ronnie Ann

    1. Ronnie Ann, thanks for visiting. Your anecdote about your uncle proves “the sometimes funny, frequently frustrating, struggles that [people] have with hearing loss.”

      Thanks also for the Emily Litella skit trips! 🙂

  2. Wow. Compelling. I’ve been losing my hearing for a little while and have appt soon with my ENT and I expect to purchase hearing aids My mother recently got them and is happy to hear again.

    Thanks for the info never associated it with RA.

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