How to Support Someone With Hearing Disability
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how to support someone with hearing loss

Understanding Hearing Loss and Hearing Disability 

Hearing loss and hearing disability may sound the same. However, hearing loss happens gradually and hearing loss itself is not deafness. Hearing is one of the main 5 senses of a human body. At times, people tend to neglect their sense of hearing and if we are not careful, we might experience hearing disability such as hearing loss for a longer period of time. 

Hearing loss, deafness, hard of hearing, anacusis or hearing impairment, is defined as a partial or total inability to hear. Hearing loss can be mild, severe, or acute. It can affect one ear or both of the ears, and can lead to difficulty in hearing conversational speech or loud sounds. Get to know more about types of hearing loss here.

 

How to Support Someone With Hearing Disability 

While most of us are blessed with good hearing ability, some may be experiencing difficulty in doing so. This is the time where we need to be supportive and offer help to those who need us. You may be reading this because you know someone who is suffering from hearing loss. Remember, hearing loss is not the end. In most cases, hearing disability can be treated by wearing the right hearing aid

We can be supportive by doing these:

  1. Be attentive
    Before you start a conversation with them, start by calling their name. Speak slowly and clearly. Take note that raising your voice can distort the sound of your words. Never show your frustration because we never knew how they really feel about having hearing loss.
  2. Reduce background noise
    Lower down the TV or radio volume when you’re communicating with them. Move to a quiet space away from the noise source. If you’re in the market, restaurant or gathering, try to talk in areas that are well lit, quiet, and calm.
  3. Always be compassionate
    It is not easy for people that are having hearing disabilities, it could be worse for senior citizens. Untreated hearing loss can lead to depression due to social isolation and dementia. Being able to relate to what your loved one is experiencing is needed in this situation.

How to Communicate With People With Hearing Loss

Communication is a 2 ways street. One is conveying a message and another party is receiving it. Here are a few tips for communicating face-to-face with someone who faced hearing difficulty. 

  • Choose a well lit area, sit face-to-face and position yourself where they can see your face clearly.
  • Do not raise your tone but get closer.
  • Speak clearly, slowly and be patient.
  • Be attentive and let them put attention to you too.
  • Avoid using long sentences. Remember to not complicate your messages in the conversation. Slow down between sentences. 
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Avoid eating, drinking, chewing and smoking when you’re talking. It makes them hard to understand what you’re trying to say.
  • If they have hearing impared on one ear, position yourself well to his or her better hearing ear.
  • Take turns speaking, do not interrupt them and avoid loud areas.

SoundLife Hearing to the Rescue

One thing you can do to show your support is to be an advocate for your loved one with hearing loss. Early diagnosis can have a big impact on one’s life. Getting ahead of the slow decline through early intervention could prevent long term cognitive problems later on. If you think your loved ones might be losing your hearing, it is better to seek a diagnosis immediately. To view our hearing aid range or to have a hearing test, contact us for an appointment today.