Eventually all of us have to come to terms with realistic expectations. It is at the point when we realise what we cannot do that we begin to understand what we can do. Life is a strange combination of knowing our limitations and yet still aiming high. What sort of unrealistic expectations do people with a hearing loss have?
‘There is a miracle cure for deafness.’
Deafness is caused by a variety of things and finding a cure depends on what has caused your deafness. For example, deafness that has been caused by a blockage of wax in the ear, an infection, or a perforation of the ear drum may be curable. However, most kinds of hearing loss are usually permanent; there is no miracle cure.
‘Hearing aids give you perfect hearing.’
A hearing aid is merely something that helps you to hear better. It cannot give you your hearing back. A hard of hearing or deaf person wearing a hearing aid is still deaf. The only perfect hearing aid is a human ear!
‘Lipreading and communication tactics are for people who are completely deaf.’
Hearing aids are only one of many things that can help you, lipreading is a second thing, and communication tactics are a third. If you add them all together you will derive more benefit than from just using hearing aids on their own.
‘Technology can do anything.’
Special equipment to help people with a disability is useful to help compensate for that disability – it cannot perform miracles. All technology is limited, even for a hearing person! Even if you have perfect hearing you have to be within earshot of your ordinary doorbell; if you have a hearing loss you have to be within sight of your flashing light doorbell.
‘People are automatically nice to you because you have a disability.’
The good news is that most people are helpful once you have told them that you have a hearing loss. However, this is not always the case and is something that we just have to accept. Always remember that it is not your fault that you are deaf. If someone is rude to you merely because you are deaf, they have the problem – not you!
‘Having a hearing loss means giving up things you enjoy.’
Having a hearing loss makes a difference to one’s life. Sometimes it means giving up a hobby a leisure pursuit that one enjoys but think very carefully before you do this. Is it really necessary or is there a way around the problem. If you have to let something go, is it possible to put something equally enjoyable in its place? Suit your lifestyle and your leisure to your hearing – it will be less frustrating and more enjoyable.
‘I could not possibly ask people to look at me when they speak.’
Be reasonable and expect other people to be reasonable too. It is realistic to expect other people, once you have told them you have a hearing loss, to:
- Look at you when they speak to you.
- Speak clearly and just a little slower.
- Repeat things, rephrasing if necessary.
- Write something down if you cannot understand them.
It is not reasonable to expect them to do these things if you refuse to wear your hearing aid, do not look at the person talking to you, or stop concentrating. The answer to unrealistic expectations is – be reasonable! Life is so much easier when you are.