Hearing loss – you can’t fake it

One in six Australians has some degree of hearing loss however research indicates many people with hearing impairment do not accept their disability initially – they are in a state of denial. Audiometrist Gerry Taniane says it’s important to realise you can’t hide your hearing loss, whether it’s due to your age or because you worked in a noisy place.

A person in denial may say…

My hearing is not too bad, it is just that others mumble; they don’t speak clearly anymore. They don’t look at me when they are speaking to me.”

“I only have hearing problems in large groups and noisy situations; if I avoid these situations I will be OK, who needs to be going out at my age? “

“My hearing is not bad enough for hearing aids yet! I don’t have the TV loud, you just have sensitive hearing.”

Gerry says in his experience many people feel –

  • Their hearing loss is not bad enough to warrant treatment
  • That seeking treatment would be admitting their age
  • Embarrassed at the thought of wearing hearing devices and very concerned about the aesthetics  “ wearing hearing aids makes me look old”


Sometimes the slow process of progressive hearing loss (e.g. age or noise related) may even make it more difficult for people to accept they have a hearing impairment. As their hearing deteriorates they become used to their hearing loss. They start filling the gaps and try to cope with these problems by turning the volume of their TV up or by avoiding the difficult situations. They may not realise what they are missing or how their quality of life is affected by their hearing loss.

According to Gerry, a loss of hearing is more obvious than any pair of hearing aids. Your friends, associates, clients and loved ones are already aware of your hearing loss. You can push it out of your mind, however you are fooling only yourself. The symptoms of your hearing loss have already manifested themselves, for example you may be:

  • giving a wrong answer to a question
  • being confused by similar sounding words, like fifty and sixty, chews and shoes, wreath and reef etc.
  • always turning-up the TV or radio louder than other household members prefer
  • constantly asking people to repeat a question or comment


Continual denial of the facts and concealment of hearing loss results in you limiting your social activity and becoming reclusive:

  • avoiding the difficult listening situations
  • giving up your favourite activities
  •  loss of self-confidence/self esteem
  • not enjoying being in groups anymore
  •  feeling isolated and depressed


“Generally speaking unless you accept the hearing loss quickly and commence your aural rehabilitation your quality of life and social interactions may suffer” advises Gerry.

Gerry offers obligation free hearing assessments – you can call him at Connect Hearing on 4455 7103. Gerry visits Queen Street Medical Centre Moruya weekly on Wednesdays and from 3 August – every Thursday.