Dealing with Hearing Loss Denial

September 11, 2009


Denial of hearing loss is a serious issue which needs more attention. Dr. Mark Ross stated “When an individual has a hearing loss the entire family has a problem.” In order to quantify the degree of denial in MarkeTrak VII we segmented people by degree of hearing loss. Certainly with few exceptions people with mild hearing loss should not be considered in denial; but when we looked at people in the top 50% of hearing loss (comparable to current hearing aid users) who did not use hearing aids, we found they did not use hearing aids for their hearing loss due to the following reasons:

  • Their hearing loss was too mild (79%)
  • The loss was not disruptive to their life (53%)
  • They hear well in most situations (68%)

Remember these are individuals whose hearing loss resembles 83% of current hearing aid users!

Acceptance of hearing loss is the first step in seeking treatment. And the process begins with recognition of hearing loss and the consequences it has on one’s life not to mention the lives of family members. The number one reason people seek treatment is that they finally recognize they have a problem; and the second reason is pressure from family members.

I recently blogged on this topic based on the very practical insights and sound advice of BHI advisor Dr. Richard Carmen. The hearing health community needs to help family members engage in useful dialogue with the individual in denial and break the co-dependent relationship of “being the ears” for the loved one in denial. This can be done in a loving non-confrontational mode. To this end we have written two Op-Ed pieces for hearing health professionals to use in their community counseling and in promoting their practices.

Stop being the ears of people with hearing loss in denial! (based on my blog)

Hearing helper? Help loved ones deal with hearing loss—the right way.

The latter article released through the syndicated service ARAcontent the end of August has already been utilized close to 400 times in print and on websites.

As in the past, hearing health professionals may use these press articles to promote their practices free of charges. To view rules for promoting your practice using BHI material and to see how your peers are using this material please visit our clipping database.