Ways You Can Make Life Easier for Someone With Hearing Loss
Until you have experienced significant hearing loss, you can only imagine what it’s like to struggle with understanding muffled, meaningless sounds. Even when someone is using a hearing aid, sounds may not be as clear as they are when heard by people with normal hearing. If you live with or know someone with hearing loss, make their life easier by doing the following:
Practice Patience and Empathy
A hard-of-hearing person does not want you to have to repeat something. When they say “What did you say?” or “What was that”?, they just want to make sure you know they are aware you said something. In other words, they are trying to be polite. Replying with a dismissive “never mind” or “it’s nothing–forget about it” is uncaring and rude. Take the time to repeat your words in a louder, clearer voice. Move closer to someone with hearing loss and face them directly when speaking to them.
Experience Hearing Loss Yourself
Explore this hearing loss simulator to learn what it’s like to have mild, moderate, or severe hearing loss. You may be startled to find out how genuinely incapacitating in can be to have even minimal hearing loss.
Tips for Talking to People with Hearing Loss
- Make sure the person can see your mouth moving and your hand gestures
- Depending on the severity of the person’s hearing loss, position yourself close enough to be heard but leave room for “personal” space
- Don’t chew gum, eat or cover your mouth while speaking to people with hearing loss
- Keep background size to a minimum if you are having a conversation with a hard-of-hearing individual. Turn off televisions and radios
- Show you are paying attention to them by using their name when speaking to them
Hearing Loss Apps
Helpful apps are available for people with hearing loss, such as apps that provide captions of conversations on cell phone screens. Facetime is another great app to use for individuals who can lip read.
To learn more about making life easier for loved ones who had trouble hearing, call Professional Audiological Services today.
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