6 Good Things About Hearing Loss (That You Might Not Have Realized)

The downside of hearing loss is clear: we don’t hear well, or at all. And that causes barriers in our communication, touching almost every aspect of our lives.

But it’s nice to take a break from all that barrier-smashing and recognize that there can be an upside to living with hearing loss. Try taking a moment to reflect how hearing loss has impacted your life. By looking for the positive, you may unpack at least a couple of benefits or skills that came in your hearing loss package.

  1. You listen better. You have to. If you don’t focus on what’s being said, you won’t get it. ‘Hearing’ people can hear without focusing; they can multitask – which isn’t necessarily a good thing either. But, when you listen better, you are more likely to get the message.
  2. It builds insight and compassion. Understanding the reality of hearing loss and its impact on human behaviour and mental health is the door to understanding how other people must deal with challenges that are outside of your experience.
  3. It gives you a platform. The above insight may give you a better appreciation for the need for diversity, equality and inclusiveness in society. The lived experience of hearing loss gives you a platform to advocate for these fundamentals.
  4. You’re a better problem-solver. You learn to search for alternatives to difficult listening situations. Yes, most of them can be difficult. But instead of your usual go-to reaction of getting mad and yelling or, worse, retreating into sulky silence, you look for ways to make it work. Manipulating the environment, using devices and reminding others of what you need from them. 
  5. You communicate better. This isn’t a given. Understanding the need to communicate better doesn’t automatically guarantee it. People with hearing loss are often guilty of the things we accuse the ‘hearing’ people in our lives of doing. Mumbling, not talking face to face, tuning out. But with practice and the will to improve your communication style, you will achieve it.
  6. You find joy in what you do hear and understand. Or at least, a better appreciation for the sounds of life. Even with sophisticated technology and superior self-advocacy skills, there is much that people with hearing loss simply can’t hear. So, when we do hear, say, birdies twittering and the stones crunching beneath our feet, it’s a beautiful moment when we acknowledge the sound and be grateful for it.

These are just a few “benefits” of hearing loss. How has changing your attitude towards your hearing loss enhanced your life?

About Gael Hannan

The Better HearingConsumer addresses the personal experience of living with hearing loss. Editor Gael Hannan and her occasional guest bloggers explore every corner of the hearing loss life with humor and poignancy. Comment Policy   Gael Hannan, Editor Gael Hannan is an author, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog at the Better Hearing Consumer, which has a passionate international following,Gael has written two acclaimed books, “The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss”and “Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss”, written with Shari Eberts. She is regularly invited to present her uniquely humorous and insightful work to appreciative audiences around the world. Gael has received many awards for her work that advocates for individuals to become more knowledgeable and successful at dealing with their hearing loss and a more inclusive society for them to live in. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, Canada. Books and other media Hear & Beyond: Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss. Written with Shari Eberts and available anywhere books are sold. The Way I Hear It: A Life With Hearing Loss. Available through online bookstores. Unheard Voices, DVD, vignettes from the hearing loss life. Contact Gael Hannan to order.

10 Comments

  1. I can totally relate to all so well put I never thought of it. Losing my hearing was terrible. When I was able to hear again it was to noisy. I still enjoy taking my ears off for silence. Now I have the best of both worlds

  2. Becoming deaf as an adult has been a mind blowing experience and silent.
    Thankfully I have bilateral MedEl CIs!

    I like to listen and play music on guitar and bass. Hearing music is such a joy
    Truly thankful for CIs!

  3. Not to mention, the incredible people we meet throughout our journey, both hearing and hearing impaired or deaf. It is one thing I am exceptionally grateful for! ❤️

  4. Thank you so much for this beautiful, positive article. I just lost hearing, completely in one ear and I wear a HA in the other, last December. I received a CI in June and activated in July. Yes, sometimes it is frustrating and discouraging but honestly I am so grateful to be able to hear my family and lot of nature, it more than makes up for the frustration and discouragement. Every morning when I “tune in” I’m grateful!

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