Living Well with Hearing Loss: Gael Hannan on Tearing Down the Fence of Family Hearing Loss

Gael Hannan

Gael Hannan is a very funny woman. She is also a force for hearing loss advocacy. Among her many roles, she is editor of the blog Hearing Views on Hearing Health and Technology Matters, where she discusses important issues that impact both audiology professionals and the people with hearing loss that they serve.

Does a relative’s hearing loss cause challenges in your family?  If so, you’re a member of a very large club.

No matter how much love there is, when hearing loss interferes with the easy flow of communication, it’s easy to get irritated, annoyed and tired, over and over and over.  And it’s a shock when hearing aids don’t completely remove the problems, because that’s the nature of hearing loss.

But no matter how corny this sounds, from experience I can tell you that with time, effort, strategies and love, family communication can improve.

Ten days ago, I had cochlear implant surgery. Two years ago, I would not have believed that this change was around the corner.  And, because I haven’t yet experienced activation of the technology, I can’t imagine how I’ll be hearing two years from now.

But what I do know is that my family and friends will play a powerful role in how well I adapt to the coming changes. The following is a piece from my book, The Way I Hear It: A Life with Hearing Loss:

The sharpest sting of hearing loss
Is felt in our relationships.
For some, the sting is momentary,
For others, the blow is powerful enough
To redirect traffic—  (Read on here.)