Living with someone who has hearing loss can have its own set of unique challenges. Misunderstandings can lead to frustration or long-term lack of communication. This article will help you understand how you can support and interact with your loved one even when challenges arise.
Signs that your loved one has hearing loss
Your loved one may have had their hearing loss since birth. In that case, they have learned to cope with their hearing loss and may wear hearing aids. However, the onset of a hearing loss during the early or later years of life is often slow and even unnoticed for a time. With the progression of a hearing loss, you may see these signs:
- Your loved one will turn up the volume on your television until it is very loud
- You get used to repeating yourself and often raise your voice
- They raise their voice to the point of yelling in a normal conversation
- They turn your head so they can read your lips when you are talking (young children especially)
- They may begin to withdraw or lack desire for sociability
2 tips for communication
The first step you want to take in helping your loved one with their hearing loss is to take them to a hearing specialist such as The Hearing Clinic who can test their hearing and assess their need for hearing aids. However, in some instances, people choose not to get hearing aids. Other times, people get the hearing aids, but do not wear them all of the time. In these cases, tips for communication might be very helpful.
Talk face to face
The most helpful guideline that you can follow when talking to someone who is hard of hearing is to make eye contact, preferably in a face to face conversation. When you are talking face to face, your loved one can read your lips to understand what you are saying and can even read your body language. This will help you relay your message and help them to understand it.
Talk in a normal voice
Despite what might come naturally, talking in a normal voice is the best way to communicate to someone with a hearing loss. If you are talking face to face then there is no reason to yell. Talking in a normal voice relays respect and allows your loved one to maintain their dignity. This not only provides accurate communication, but will ease the frustration that may have come from yelling.
Living with a loved one who has hearing loss can be challenging, but by recognizing their hearing loss and getting them in to see a professional, you can get them the help they need. By talking face to face and talking in a normal voice, you can promote good communication and ease frustration.Share