Explaining Hearing Loss to Your Loved Ones
The journey of treating hearing loss is unique to each individual that experiences it, but it does impact your family and friends. Informing your loved ones about your hearing loss can help improve communication and make your hearing loss experience easier to manage. Here are some tips on explaining hearing loss to your loved ones.
Tell Your Loved Ones About Your Hearing Loss
Your close family might be aware of your hearing loss, but other friends and relatives may not know. Open up to them about the realities of your experience, and explain that you may not be able to hear them all the time. Be upfront about the level of your hearing loss, as this will help them understand more about it.
Explain How You Hear
Helping your loved ones understand your experience will ultimately improve your relationships and reduce any miscommunication that may occur. Explain what you hear, when you are at home, in crowded settings, or in the grocery store. You could suggest they wear earplugs, noise-canceling headphones or earmuffs to mimic your experience. This isn’t going to give them a fully accurate depiction of hearing loss but could give them a sense of what you experience in your daily life.
Tell People How You Feel
It’s natural to feel emotions when you first find out about your hearing loss. You might be frustrated, sad or uncertain. Share these feelings with your family to give them insight into your daily experiences. This will bring your relationships closer together and help you all form tighter and stronger bonds. Opening up about hearing loss can also help break down some of the misunderstandings and lack of awareness surrounding hearing loss.
Share the Best Way to Communicate
Your loved ones might not be aware that speaking clearly, facing you and uncovering their mouth can help you understand them better. Tell them that these things can help you to hear. Be specific about times that you find hearing more difficult and what they need to do to make sure you can understand them. These tips can help them interact with other people they meet that have hearing loss.
Let Them Support You
When you have hearing loss, it can be helpful to have the support of your family when you are in a public setting. They might make sure a movie has subtitles, ask a store assistant to turn the music down, or explain to someone that you have hearing loss. The support of loved ones can help you manage hearing loss in your daily life.
Involve Them to Your Audiology Appointment
Invite your loved one to your audiologist appointment. Whether it’s going to a hearing test or picking out hearing aids, get them involved. Inviting your family can help them understand what it’s like to have hearing loss. It can also be reassuring as you navigate the experience of hearing loss. If they have questions your audiologist at The Center for Audiology will be happy to answer them and talk through what they are doing.
Have Them Help You with New Technology
As new technologies emerge, there are always opportunities to trial and test new hearing instruments. Invite your family to help out and see which ones best improve your hearing. This is also a great way to get kids to understand hearing loss and how it impacts your daily life. In addition to this, it’s a fun activity and it makes sense to get additional people involved to test whether the hearing instrument works for you.
Make a Signal for When You Can’t Hear Something
There will inevitably be times when you can’t hear something your loved one has said. Set up a signal that you can use when you don't hear them. It might be a shake of the head, putting one hand slightly up or raising a left eyebrow. Whatever signal works most easily for you. It can also help improve communication between you and your family members.
Gain Support for Your Hearing Loss with The Center for Audiology
The Center for Audiology can help you navigate how you explain your hearing loss to your loved ones. Our friendly and expert team of audiologists has over twenty-five years of experience in helping individuals manage their hearing loss. We can help you and your loved ones understand what to expect from hearing loss.
If you want to talk to a member of our expert team at The Center for Audiology, contact us at your nearest location in Houston (713-255-0035) or Pearland (713-800-5050). Be supported by premier experts in hearing loss and audiology care.