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Ten Tips on How to Help Your Loved Ones Cope with Your Hearing Loss

Posted by Hearex Staff on

1. Of course, the key step in ensuring that your loved ones are able to cope and work their way around your hearing loss is making sure that they know about it in the first place. Talk to them. Let them know that you find it hard to hear them in most situations. Most importantly, educate them on some of the ways with which they can communicate with you more clearly. Children are especially interested in the scientific aspect of things, so you can try showing them your digital hearing aids and explaining how they work.

2. You are more apt to hear and decipher what a person is saying if your full attention is on him or her. So, tell your friends and loved ones to get your attention first if they want to start a conversation with you. Just a simple tap on the shoulder, wave of a hand, or eye contact will do. This way, you would be able to contextualize their words and phrases properly.

3. Paying attention goes both ways. It also helps if the person you're talking to is facing you and paying you their full attention. If you can't hear their words clearly, you can, at least, be able to lip-read what they're saying.

4. Remind people around you not to speak all at once. Taking turns while speaking allows you to concentrate on just one speaker alone, without interference from other noises. Children are usually prone to excitement and would thus not wait for other speaker to finish, so this can also be a great opportunity for them to learn proper conversation manners (i.e. wait for other people to finish speaking first, before speaking yourself).

5. Keep the lights on and the music down. People with hearing conditions find it easier to hear what other people are saying if there are no other loud noises vying for their attention. So, remind your loved ones to turn the music down in the house. It's also easier for you to read people's lips if they are in a well-lit room.

6. Despite popular belief, speaking slowly or raising one's voice at someone with hearing loss does not actually help them hear more clearly. Let people know that you are more likely to understand what they're hearing if they speak at a normal volume, while enunciating their words with clarity. Tell them to speak as if they are on-stage with an audience facing them if they are speaking to you. Someone with a clear and carefully-modulated voice is easier to understand over someone who is speaking too slowly or too loudly.

7. Communication takes a lot of work. Especially so, if you have hearing loss. It takes a lot of energy to concentrate on what people are saying. Best keep your body in tiptop shape always. Eat healthily, exercise, and get enough sleep. Don't let stress get the better part of you.

8. Don't just ask "What?" over and over when you can't understand a word or phrase. Ask people for clarification instead. Repeat what you've heard and ask them if it is correct or not. For children, you can have them spell out the word for you.

9. Make it known that you are enthusiastic about the conversation and want it to continue. People are more willing to communicate with you if they see you putting in the extra effort just to hear them. For children, you can talk to them on their level. Sit them on your lap or sit with them on the floor. Make sure that they know that you are willing to listen to what they have to say.

10. Look at the funny side of things. Humor is your best defense against the frustrations of hearing loss. And sometimes, all of the mishearings and misunderstandings that you make can make for some funny stories. The more you show how at ease you are with your hearing condition, the more people will be at ease with you too. People will also be more willing to engage you in conversation if they find you funny.

Hearing loss can be challenging. But hopefully, the tips above can help you and your loved ones communicate easier. Your condition isn't a burden if you don't treat it as one. So always keep a healthy outlook on things.