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Explaining Hearing Loss to Your Loved Ones
If someone close to you is starting to lose their hearing or is already hard of hearing, it can be difficult in many ways. Often, the first thing that is affected is how people talk to each other in their daily lives and in social situations.
How Can We Best Help People Who Have Trouble Hearing, Especially Family and Friends?
It is important to set up a system that helps them and shows them how to get better hearing. It gives the time you spend together more meaning and shows them that beautiful sounds are closer than they think. Read on to find out more about how to explain hearing loss to your loved ones so that they can get the assistance they need.
A research paper in The Hearing Review says that hearing loss can put a strain on relationships and cause a lot of stress for both the person with hearing loss and the people around them.
Studies show that hearing loss makes loved ones feel frustrated, embarrassed and upset. It also makes the relationship as a whole harder. People often feel annoyed or frustrated when they think their hearing-impaired loved one isn’t listening to them or when they keep refusing to ask for help.
If you have to say the same thing more than once, it’s easy to get frustrated and say things like, never mind, it doesn’t matter. It’s normal to feel this way but try to avoid saying things that could make a deaf person feel worse. Stay calm and focus on getting your point across.
Communication is the key to a healthy relationship, no matter what you’re talking about. But when one person has hearing loss, many of these important moments of connection can be lost. Over time, frustration and resentment can grow, which can make the relationship feel less close.
Hearing loss makes it hard to even talk to someone in another room. If you think a loved one has trouble hearing, doing this will only make you both more upset. Trying to have a conversation with someone who has trouble hearing can be difficult, but there are a few simple things you can do to make the situation go more smoothly:
- Tap or wave to get your loved ones’ attention before you start to talk.
- Talk to people face-to-face instead of turning your head or back.
- Slow down and be clear when you talk.
- Move to a place with less noise in the background.
- If your hearing-impaired friend or family member can hear better out of one ear than the other, try to remember which one it is so you can stand in the right place.
- When you can, write down important information like dates and times. Texting and email can be very helpful.
- Think of ways you can talk without words, like using your face and body language to explain what you’re saying.
Hearing loss can make it hard to talk to each other, but that doesn’t mean it has to hurt your relationship. Using the above tips can help you pay more attention when talking to your loved one.
Don’t Do All the Talking
Hearing loss can be very tiring for the person who has it because they have to put in a lot of effort to pay attention to what is being said. This can make a person with hearing loss feel like they’re not contributing to the conversation and cause them to pull away.
When a person loses their hearing, they often pull into themselves. It’s important to make people who have trouble hearing feel like they’re still part of the conversation, so they don’t feel ashamed. Make sure your friend or family member feels as involved as possible. If you feel like you’ve been talking for a while, stop and let your loved one say something.
Suggest Seeking Help
Talk with your loved one about seeing an audiologist or getting a hearing test. Be encouraging and helpful. Ask if they’d like you to go with them, and in a kind way, explain how taking action will make their life better overall. You could even suggest that the two of you take the test together as a show of unity.
A hearing test doesn’t have to be scary, and there are different kinds of hearing loss that don’t all need to be treated all the time. It could just be a buildup of wax that needs to be cleaned out, or it could be a sign of something more serious. Either way, it needs to be checked out.
Speak to the experts at Audiology and Hearing Aid Center at 920-969-1768 to find out more about what a hearing test entails and how to book one. You can ask as many questions as you need.