The loneliness of the deaf and hard of hearing

It was a remark from his mother who decided Anouk to consult an ENT doctor last summer. “She found that I spoke very loudly”, tells this young woman, whose audiogram revealed a hearing loss on the right side, slight but “Irreversible”. This podcast creator suspected it a bit, she who, “Since I was little, [fait] repeat all the time and [n’entend] not the difference between certain sounds ”.

At 27, she will have to learn to preserve her ears. “I have not been prescribed rehabilitation or hearing aids, but I have to practice listening in the hubbub and not turning on the television too loud, she reports. Above all, I no longer have the right to headphones or headphones. For someone who works in music, we will say that it is… ironic ”, underlines Anouk, who still digests the news.

Habits to change, a new daily life to learn. “Hearing loss often constitutes a break in life”, raises Nicolas Hervé, project manager at the Association of those who have become deaf and hard of hearing in La Manche (ADMS 50). Among deaf and hard of hearing people, only 1% are born with this disability. For all the others, it occurs in the course of life and involves a time of acceptance. “

Anne-Marie Desmottes will not contradict him. About 20 years ago, at the age of 35, she was diagnosed with genetic deafness, and the former teacher had to give up most of her hobbies. “No more theater, no more cinema, no more conferences, unless the room is equipped with a magnetic induction loop allowing sound to be received directly in his hearing aids or in headphones, which is rare”, she sums up to The cross in an email – phone conversations, too, are a thing of the past.

Now president of ADSM 50, she provides advice and information to people going through this ordeal. A path often marked by“Isolation, psychological distress, even depression”, points out Nicolas Hervé. According to him, the gaze of society, which oscillates between indifference and contempt. “It is still often said of a hearing-impaired person that they are deaf, with the idea that to hear badly is to misunderstand. This pushes many people to hide their difficulties, especially at work. “

As for relatives, they do not always show the hoped-for empathy. “We sometimes encounter the incomprehension of those around us who accuse us of not paying attention or of hearing what we want”, testifies Anne-Marie Desmottes. Today equipped with a cochlear implant, an electronic medical device intended for people with severe or even profound hearing loss, she must regularly be reminded that hearing aids “Do not make hearing.” Just as the movement aids (cane, walker, chair) do not make you fully mobile. ““Hearing aid professionals pride themselves on making less and less conspicuous devices, observes Nicolas Hervé. But this is not always helping deaf and hard of hearing people, because in a way, it still contributes to the invisibilization of their handicap. “


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