Guest Blogger Laura Lowles has written a piece for us about some of the fears people with hearing loss may face, particularly at night.
Laura is 29 years old and was diagnosed with Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SSHL) in 2014, and regularly writes on her own blog www.theinvisibledisabilityandme.wordpress.com about hearing loss and how it can affect your life.
We are told from an early age to always eat our carrots as they will help us to see in the dark, but what about hearing in the dark? Is there a magical vegetable (or fruit, I’m not fussy!) that will enable us to hear better in the dark, I’m sure the 11 million people, myself included, suffering from some form of hearing loss would be willing to pay for that!
When dusk falls, hearing loss not only becomes more prominent but it can also be dangerous. Here I have outlined a few (there are plenty more scenarios) that come to mind when I think about hearing in the dark;
Walking home from work/outing etc;
Imagine getting off the bus or out of your car to walk home from work or a social event and the street lights are dim or not in working order, what would happen if someone was to come up behind you and attempt to mug you (or god forbid, worse)? I realise this is a dangerous situation to anyone but if you have any kind of hearing loss, the danger increases tenfold because you have lost a vital sense that can help to protect you. A hearing person would be able to hear footsteps behind them or someone talking/breathing heavily and be on alert. A deaf person or someone suffering from hearing loss would not and therefore is in an extremely vulnerable position.
Socialising in a dimly lit environment;
We all know that socialising in extremely loud environments can be frustrating and annoying but for a deaf person it is impossible. Not only because of the noise but also because people generally tend to shout over music/noise to be heard which distorts the natural facial expressions making it a lot harder to lip-read them. Add a dimly lit environment and it is a disaster zone. A dimly lit location makes lip-reading 10 x harder because the shadows cast on the face cover up facial expressions that could provide helpful clues as to the topic of conversation.
Crossing the road;
Similar to walking home alone, crossing the road can become dangerous at night time. As much as you can look in both directions, there is nothing like being able to hear a car/van/motorbike etc., especially if they do not have their headlights on. I know I have nearly been knocked over a few times since I lost my hearing, and I always wait for the green man!!
At home alone;
I often find that getting to sleep whilst I’m at home alone and do not have my processor on is a very hard task. You imagine all sorts of scenarios that can happen; someone breaking in or a fire breaking out and you lying in bed blissfully unaware of the impending dangers. Not being able to hear a fire or security alarm going off is a fear I’m sure that many deaf people are fully aware of, of course there are assistive devices out there but to be honest, there is always something at the back of my mind that tells me they can easily break.
What scenarios scare you or make you feel apprehensive as a deaf or hearing impaired person?
Follow Laura’s Journey
Like many people, Laura felt that there was not enough information and support out there for people living with hearing loss. She now writes an informative blog about her experiences, in the hope that people will be able to learn more about hearing loss, but also get some help and advice.
Follow her online:
Facebook: The Invisible Disability and Me
Worried about your Hearing?
Please get in touch with Hearing Wales today on 0800 313 4304. We provide free hearing tests and impartial advice, so we can help you address your hearing loss and improve your quality of life.