Hearing loss mostly occurs as a slow decline over time, but it can occur suddenly as a result of illness or trauma. Without intervention it will often lead to greater difficulty communicating with family members, friends at social gatherings and in the workplace. It can also result in increased isolation, depression and other health conditions.
It’s well known that the ability to talk about any issue with others who understand can reduce the negative impacts of that issue, and this is part of what we offer in relation to hearing loss. Our team of volunteers have lived experience of hearing loss in various forms and are available to listen, empathise and offer support in a friendly non-judgmental way and with no obligation.
For example, one of the biggest issues with which HMA assists people is adjusting to new hearing devices. Many people who are new to hearing devices don’t experience the improvements they were hoping for as quickly as they anticipated. It takes time to adapt to the feel and sound of new hearing devices, and without support many new hearing aid users give up and consign their expensive devices to the bedside drawer.
We also know that the new hearing device is only part of the solution, and HMA can offer advice and assistance from peers, with communication strategies to improve a person’s ability to manage their hearing loss and minimise its impact on their lifestyle.