Hearing loss is difficult to live with, and not just for the person who has the condition. It is common for loved ones of people with hearing loss to complain about having to repeat themselves frequently, live with the TV turned up much louder than is comfortable and take on the burden of social responsibilities and tasks like scheduling appointments.
It’s difficult to admit when you have a problem, so if you feel the need to talk to your loved one about the impact of their hearing loss, make sure to do so from a place of love, compassion and support. Follow our tips below.
Show Your Support
When your loved one is ready to take the first step toward better hearing, make sure to let them know they have your full support. Offer to attend appointments with them. Take notes on what the audiologist says. Practice communication strategies to help ease the burden of communication.
Learn What Hearing Loss Like
When your loved one tells you what their hearing loss is like and how it affects them, listen carefully and keep their words in mind next time you feel frustrated about repeating yourself.
There are online hearing loss simulators that can help show you what hearing loss is like. While these are far from the real experience, they may give you a peek into your loved one’s world.
Whenever you feel yourself becoming frustrated, remind yourself that hearing loss is most frustrating for the person experiencing it. If your loved one has to ask you to repeat yourself five times in a row, remember they are not doing it to annoy you; they’re simply trying to understand what you said.
Ask Them About Their Needs
When you have to repeat yourself, the tendency is to shout. This is not usually helpful, as shouting actually distorts speech. Also avoid talking too slowly, which can hinder lip reading. It is usually best to speak just a little louder and a little slower than usual, and rephrase whenever necessary. Ask your loved one about their needs so you know what you need to do to be heard.
For more information about supporting your loved one with their hearing loss, call the experts at Timpanogos Hearing & Balance today.