“Perceived need*” is the main reason for the

slow uptake of hearing aids for some people.

*The perception that hearing loss is not severe enough

Why? – because people adjust

Gradually over time, a person with hearing loss adjusts to not being able to hear, and the people around them change by speaking louder and directly to them. Eventually, as communication it gets too hard, friends and family start choosing to share less. They stop telling jokes or sharing inconsequential news and discuss only significant matters.

Hearing loss is invisible! It is also sneaky…

Hearing loss is usually gradual: first, you have to concentrate harder to follow the conversation in a cafe, next socialising becomes tiring from all the extra effort you need to use to understand the banter; soon, you mis-hear the directions and find yourself asking for repeats.

Hearing loss is sneaky

Eventually, people take one of two paths:

  • To withdraw into your own world, keep to yourself or stop going out
  • to become “the life of the party” and do most of the talking,  because while you are talking, it doesn’t matter if you cannot hear… right?
Auckland Hearing

Do I have hearing loss?

Does hearing loss affect you? Or someone you love?

Have you noticed that you have been missing the details more often?

Are you struggling to follow along in a group conversation?

Or have other people suggested that you don’t always hear them?

Hearing loss affects people of all ages. There are many reasons for hearing loss, including hereditary factors, noise exposure, trauma and ear pathology. Hearing loss does become more common as we age, sometimes due to accumulating reasons.

Hearing loss is invisible

Hearing loss is painless

Hearing loss is gradual

Hearing loss is sneaky

In the beginning, the hearing loss takes away…

  • The beginning of the sentence,
  • The little details,
  • The Punchline…

With time hearing loss may…

  • … cause you to ask for repeats – when you miss the first word
  • … increase mental fatigue – as you concentrate harder, just to follow along- leaving you feeling exhausted at the end of the day
  • … lead you to feel embarrassed about missing the details or about having to ask for repeats too often
  • … begin to erode your confidence – as you are no longer sure about what was said
  • … make you feel less interested in socialising, choosing to stay home as it is easier that way.

The gradual nature of hearing loss means that we adapt over time.  We change our behaviour, choose our environments, and slowly our relationships change as everyone adapts to the change in our hearing.

Effects of hearing loss on you

Hearing loss does not usually mean that you stop hearing all sounds equally; the hearing loss pattern will depend on the cause of the hearing loss.  Hearing loss often begins in the high pitches, leaving the hearing for low tones in the normal range. Words will start to sound dull or become less clear, eventually resulting in a reduced understanding of speech. It becomes especially difficult to hear in noisy situations, like in a group of people, hearing while the TV is on in the background or trying to understand conversation in a crowd or a large echoey room.  Although for some types of hearing loss (conductive), people hear well in noisy environments, where people are speaking loudly but cannot understand quiet speech.

The way you respond to reduced hearing clarity may depend on your personality, the degree and shape of your hearing loss and how long your hearing has been deteriorating.  Most people with hearing loss find it tiring to follow the conversation, as their brain has to work harder to fill in all the sound gaps that they miss, for example:

“…now was that See or Tea?  Must be Tea – that makes more sense.”

This tiredness has been termed auditory fatigue

Often people find the tiredness from auditory fatigue gets worse at the end of the day.  It can be harder to keep up with a fast conversation, especially in a group or if people are facing away.

Many people say that they have felt embarrassed by their hearing loss at some point, either because they have misunderstood someone or because they have to keep asking for repeats. Some people find it easier to step back from the conversation due to the exhausting effects of the intense concentration and slip into their own thoughts. Others will talk more, as when you are talking, you do not need to hear.  Unfortunately, both of these options lead to a change in relationships over time.

Auditory Fatigue

Impact of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss impact varies between individuals and is influenced by many factors, including degree and cause of hearing disorders, length of untreated hearing loss and personality. We know hearing disorders lead to social isolation, personality change, and increased anxiety and depression.  Studies have also found a strong link between hearing disorders and the development of dementia. This US article outlines the effects of untreated hearing disorder in adults.

Hearing loss is invisible and sneaky.

As it changes, we adjust.

Gradually it affects personality and relationships.

Hearing loss changes us over time.

 Maree O’Sullivan


It takes some people up to 10 years to seek help with hearing loss

Why do we wait to do something about Hearing disorders?

  • Hearing loss is invisible.
  • Hearing loss is gradual.
  • We “just get on with it….”
  • We slowly adapt our lives to the change in our hearing.
  • Family members help to compensate.
  • There is a history of poor technology in hearing aids, so some worry that hearing aids will not help.
  • There is a history of stigma around hearing aids.
  • There is a belief that hearing aids are more obvious than hearing loss.
  • Change is hard! … and takes motivation.
  • We don’t understand what is involved in getting and using hearing aids…

Do you think you may have hearing loss? Are you ready to take the first step?

Having a hearing test

Having a hearing test

The first step is to have a full hearing assessment. This will assess your hearing level as well as pinpoint where in the ear the hearing loss originates. Hearing loss may be described as:

  • Conductive – where there is a blockage stopping the sound from reaching the cochlear (outer or middle ear)
  • Sensorineural – where the cochlear is not able to detect all the sounds
  • Retrocochlear – where the brain cannot process sound as it should due to a blockage along the hearing pathway.
  • An auditory processing disorder (APD) – where the brain cannot process the sound it detects.

The discussion after the hearing assessment will give you knowledge and understanding about your hearing and how it affects your life at the moment.  If you are ready and interested, we will talk to you about the options we have for helping you with your hearing and what is involved. We will discuss the hearing aid funding options available for you. We will even fit you with some hearing aidsand you can go next door to the cafe for a cup of coffee while you try them out.  From here, it is up to you to decide your next step.

Hearing aids are the most common and effective way to help people with hearing loss (after excluding medical reasons). However, before trialling hearing aids, it is important that you are ready in yourself to go through the hearing aid process. It must be your decision, not someone else’s…

I hope this article helped you gain a greater understanding of hearing loss and its effects.

Maybe we can now rephrase the question.

Rather than the question being, “Do I need hearing aids?” Perhaps, the question could be, “Would I like to communicate easily with the people that matter to me?” Do you want to converse easily? Do you want hearing aids?

Do you want to communicate easily?- Do you want hearing aids?

Do you want to communicate easily with the people that matter to you? Is it time to get hearing aids?

Have you decided you would like to know more about hearing aids?

Is it time to rejoin the conversation?

Hearing loss is common. Many people wear hearing aids.  Have you noticed them?

The next question is: So what is the right hearing solution for me?

A bit about Auckland Hearing

Maree and Yvonne- your friendly Audiologists at Auckland Hearing

Maree and Yvonne – Audiologists

Auckland Hearing is a hearing aid and audiology clinic and is part of the Dilworth Hearing family.  Yvonne and Maree are your Audiologists. We have a focus on quality care. By understanding the needs of each client, we will tailor the best solution to ensure optimal long-term outcomes.

Shirley is our practice manager, she will answer the phone when you call and welcome you to the clinic.

We provide a full range of hearing services and work with all of the Ministry of Health approved hearing aid brands in New Zealand. This means we can fit the hearing aids that best suit your needs.

Shirley Chen - Practice Manager

Shirley- Practice Manager