Why We Need to Keep Writing & Talking About Hearing Loss

Happy 10th anniversary to me! 

This summer marks a full 10 years that I’ve been writing the Better Hearing Consumer (BHC) column for the Hearing Health & Technology Matters (HHTM) website. Ten years! That’s longer than a lot of my past relationships (although going 30-years strong with the Hearing Husband!). Soon I will have posted my 500th blog!

When HHTM was started by a group of passionate hearing health-related professionals to provide “timely information and lively insights for audiology professionals and everyone who cares about hearing loss”, I was thrilled to be asked to join them as the site’s consumer voice of people with hearing loss.

Over the past two or three decades, hearing loss has come out of the closet and gone mainstream. There were few people with hearing loss writing about the experience when I first became an advocate. Now there are many of us, people who write books as well as the legion of fabulous bloggers on social media who produce important, helpful work.

We write about what we know – living with hearing challenges, including tinnitus and vertigo, day in and day out. We write about our love/hate relationships with hearing technology and the professionals who serve us. We write about how our family and friends are affected. We write about the strangers out there who don’t understand our needs. We need to keep talking and writing about it to help the multitudes who are entering the life phase where hearing loss has a major impact.

I keep writing about it:

Because I can. Hearing loss is a personal health and social issue for me and I’m passionate about making the world more hearing accessible. And, like most blog or book writers, it’s a labour of love, not a money maker.

Because I have to. Something makes me do it. I write from the trenches, telling it like I see it, feel it, and hear it. Some days, the life with hearing loss is stressful and isolating. Other days, it’s not so bad. Some days, it’s hardly an issue (those would be the days when the tinnitus is quieter than usual). Technology is our friend. Simply put, writing (and talking) about hearing loss makes it more understandable to myself and therefore easier to deal with.

Because I write well. If I didn’t write well, I would have said that I write good. But good is an adjective, not an adverb, which is required to describe the verb ‘write’. End of grammar lesson. You’re still reading, right? 

Because it helps other people. At the very least, it gives them a different point of view, or something to try, or even just the comfort of knowing that someone else is going through the same thing, just as I draw strength and ideas from other writers’ words. Words matter. Words heal.  “Word have power. They impact others but they also impact us.” (Michael Hyatt)

Let’s keep talking, reading, and writing about hearing loss. Keep reading what people write. Because as I’ve always said, it’s not just about hearing. It’s about being heard.

 

About Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a writer, speaker and advocate on hearing loss issues. In addition to her weekly blog for HearingHealthMatters.org, which has an international following, Gael wrote the acclaimed book "The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss". 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, which includes advocacy for a more inclusive society for people with hearing loss. She lives with her husband on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

7 Comments

  1. Thank you very much for writing about hearing loss. At first, I thought it was an attack by enemies due to series of believes in Africa. I came out of isolation when l discovered Hearing Loss group on Facebook. I took a bold step and shared my first story, what l pass through as l was growing up with hearing loss. Thousands of comments followed and l then understood what really is hearing loss. So, it is good to write about hearing loss. It helps a lots of us and hearing people too. Finally, I have penned down my story as a book for the whole world to read, to be published by Amazon this month. Once again, thank you, keep it up. From Clement Aladeloye

  2. Hi Gael,
    I love your blog, I read your book “The way I hear it.
    I loss my hearing when I was 2 years old, since this time I used hearing aids, I am a good leapreder and since I was 50 year old I have a cochlear implante in right ear. I’m very happy with it.
    I began to write about my live experience with hearing loss. Haw many thinks I discovered by writing
    Regards,
    Rebeca

  3. Another great blog post Gael, and congratulations on your 10th anniversary and almost 500th blog. It’s hard to believe that you could and can do this for long and keep it fresh and fun, which you always do. But there’s a lot to learn about hearing loss and its impact on people’s lives and we need wonderful writers like yourself to keep telling the hearing loss story. Bye for now and stay safe!

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