I have just finished reading an article by a woman of 88 who has a son of 52 who not only cannot hear but uses very little sign language and speaks of how patient he is about his disabiity. I think he also has other problems, probably a mild form of autism.
She goes on to say that her own hearing is poor now and she now partly understands how her son must feel. I found her words very interesting and it made me think how something like a hearing problem can affect one's life. She says too that in certain circumstances one "withdraws" in company because it is just too difficult trying to keep up with the conversation that is taking place.
I can relate to this as for several years now my hearing has been getting worse although in everyday living I have no real problems. I also have tinnitus which is no great help when trying to hear. It is when I am with a group of people that the problem becomes relevant. I have a 'funny' ear which prevents me from wearing a hearing aid (I have tried twice but to no avail) but people don't seem to fully understand this. Neither do they make the effort to speak a little more slowly or clearly so you can be included in what is going on around you.
One gets tired of being told "you should wear your hearing aid" especially when I have expained to them that it just doesn't work for me or that with airconditioning and other background noises it makes a hearing aid useless anyway. You should try wearing a hearing aid when eating a meal and the sound of cutlery and crockery etc., becomes a nightmare so, even if one could wear a hearing aid, one is forced to turn it off.
If someone is lame or even blind people do make allowance for that disability so why is that when someone has even a mild hearing problem that folks seem to have no understanding of the problem and will complain if one perhaps has the TV or radio on "a little loud".
Many the time I have read letters to the papers with people complaining about background music accompanying TV shows, even the news, and yet nobody seems to take one bit of notice. Consequently lots of peoople these days don't even bother watching/listening to certain programes because of this background noise.
I am always very glad of being able to have the captions on most TV programmes and DVDs (although some are not done very well) and I know for certain that I can lip read to a certain degree (you just sort of do it without realising you are doing so) 'cos I have more trouble hearing someone speaking when their back is turned towards me.
For those who so far do not have a hearing problem (all that loud music you listened to when they were young could begin to take its toll soon) do try and be a little more patient with those who do have this problem so that they may be included rather than excluded from conversation when in a group of people.