Simple Tips for Communicating Through Hearing Loss

Simple Tips for Communicating Through Hearing Loss

Hearing loss doesn’t have to ruin relationships. Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep those crucial lines of communication open.

Often the greatest toll hearing loss takes is on the relationships we share with our loved ones. When one is unable to hear, their ability to communicate in our highly verbal society is frequently impaired. They may miss crucial contextual cues in conversations and feel left out, or they might not realize their spouse is trying to get their attention. These seem like minor problems, but over time they gradually build into a wedge of frustration that can drive people apart. This often saddles those suffering from hearing loss with feelings of isolation, loneliness, and depression.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of thoughtfulness and care — and the following helpful tips for those suffering from hearing loss and those they are talking to — those damaged lines of communication can be salvaged.

For people with hearing loss:

  • Pay careful attention to the speaker’s face. Visual cues are a major component of hearing comprehension.
  • Attempt to reduce background noise. The fewer distractions your brain has to sort through, the better you’ll understand the conversation.
  • Make sure you’re facing the speaker directly. Your ears are especially good at picking up sounds directly in front of your face.
  • If you use hearing devices, wear them consistently. If you worry that wearing a hearing device might make you look old, just imagine how old you’ll seem constantly asking people to repeat themselves.
  • Paraphrase and repeat information back to the speaker to cement it in your mind.
  • Be patient. Frustration is natural, but with effort and focus, your hearing loss does not have to doom your social life.

For friends, family, and loves ones:

  • Face the person you’re speaking to.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, but do not exaggerate your speech and do not shout.
  • Try not to block your mouth with objects or your hands, as visual cues are crucial to comprehension.
  • Reduce background noise as much as possible.
  • Make sure you have the other person’s attention before you start speaking. Tap their shoulder or call their name — something to make them face you before you begin.
  • Be prepared to repeat information as necessary.
  • Be patient. Frustration is natural, but your compassionate efforts to communicate make a world of difference.

If you or someone you love are affected by hearing loss and would like to learn more about the best ways to communicate through the fog, call us today!

Thanks to Smartphones, Modern Hearing Aids Offer More Than Improved Hearing

Thanks to Smartphones, Modern Hearing Aids Offer More Than Improved Hearing

Modern hearing devices are more sophisticated than ever, with some now offering patients the option to link the devices directly to their smartphone of choice, greatly expanding their functionality and the features they offer.

Few things are as ubiquitous as the modern smartphone. Given the tremendous technology packed into these pocket-size devices, it should come as little surprise that they can do anything from piping music and phone calls through your car’s stereo to monitoring your workout to streaming blockbuster movies while you wait in the dentist’s office. Increasingly, hearing device manufacturers are adding their latest creations to this list of gadgets able to communicate with nearby smartphones, drastically increasing the versatility and feature set of the same technology that so many people rely on for relief from hearing loss.

And these new features go far beyond simply transforming a hearing device into a miniature, high-tech earpiece for your phone. Imagine that you’re sitting in a noisy restaurant having a conversation. Traditionally, if you’re wearing a hearing device, this will require you to fiddle with the tiny knobs on the device itself. This is both annoyingly complicated and betrays the fact that the hearing device, no matter how small, is in your ear — a hurdle for image-conscious adults. However, if the hearing device is linked to your phone, you could make the necessary adjustments to blot out background noise using a convenient, intuitive app. Nobody has to know you even have a hearing aid — your companions will just assume you’re checking Facebook.

Or imagine you take your hearing aids out, fall asleep, then wake up unable to find them in the morning. Given the thousands of dollars the average hearing aid can cost, that’s a major problem. But if those hearing aids are linked to your phone, you could use your phone to track them down with state-of-the-art GPS technology.

The AGXsp hearing device is a good example of how smartphones are changing the capabilities of hearing devices. Not only is this device on the cutting edge of hearing enhancement technology, it also seamlessly syncs with Apple’s wildly popular smartphone, the iPhone. The AGXsp allows users to program custom audio enhancement levels depending on their setting, locate their hearing aids should they ever go missing, and answer the phone without having to hold a handset to their heads, among myriad other features.