Let’s compare two situations. First, Joe has experienced good hearing all his life, and one day he suddenly cannot hear out of one ear. Panic sets in. He cannot be seen quick enough by a doctor or audiologist. When it is determined that the problem is not medically fixable, he wants a hearing aid ASAP. There is no way he wants to go around with such compromised hearing, even though it is only one ear. This is a typical reaction to a sudden hearing loss. People want what they are used to.
The thing is that most hearing loss is gradual in nature; it creeps up on you, as it did for Mary. She started to turn the TV up a bit louder, and all seemed fine. Every year she would make a few more adjustments to the TV’s volume and she got by. Family and friends began to talk a bit louder in order to get Mary to respond. Her world got quieter as time went on, but she was used to it. Bird sounds become softer, children’s voices become more difficult to understand, etc. She had become comfortable with her disability.
Both Joe and Mary experienced hearing loss, but Mary’s story is more tragic because she suffered the degradation. Early diagnosis and treatment are always the best way to deal with hearing loss, period. Be aware of the choices you are making or not making. Remember that by doing nothing, you are choosing a disability. Think about what you would do if you were in Joe’s situation and what you can learn from it so that you do not suffer like Mary.