Having a hearing loss is not always easy. Consider yourself lucky if you have patient and supportive people in your life.
Identifying with Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is a part of a person. It’s not who they are as a whole, and it hasn’t changed who they fundamentally are.
The World Health Organization has reported that more than 5 percent of the global population experiences some range of hearing loss. There are many different levels of hearing loss, communication styles, and use of hearing devices.
Things to Consider for the People in Your Life who have Hearing Loss
1. Keep them included in conversations
One of the biggest challenges for people who have hearing loss is communication. This is especially true when in group conversations. Most tend to smile along and pretend they can hear. Simply take the time to repeat something, or enunciate words clearly, to make everyone feel included. Do not respond with “Never mind.” This is very discouraging to someone with hearing loss.
Having hearing loss can be incredibly isolating, so be sure to make them feel included if you are having a conversation.
2. Limit to one on one time
Hearing loss can be lonely. In some instances, people with hearing loss may feel overwhelmed if there are too many people talking over each other in a conversation. If you notice someone with hearing loss leaving a group or declining social gatherings, ask that person if they’re ok. Offer to "be their ears" and repeat things or paraphrase things for them if necessary. Isolation can harm their mental and emotional well-being.
Perhaps they prefer being alone with one other person. There are quieter venues with great lighting that are less busy.
3. Patience is key
Communication requires a speaker and a listener.
When speaking, make sure you face the person who is hard of hearing. If they didn’t understand you the first time, repeat yourself or explain it in another way. You may also write or type out what you say or even use a speech-to-text app. It may be frustrating at times but practicing to communicate is key.
4. Remember, people with hearing loss want to be treated with respect just like everyone else.
Everyone has their own unique traits. They may choose to embrace it while others have not, but it’s important to treat one another with respect regardless of their differences with consideration.
If you or a loved one experiences difficulty with hearing, please get in touch with us at Pure Sound Hearing for a free hearing test and consultation.