Things People with Hearing Loss Wish You Knew

Things People with Hearing Loss Wish You Knew

In Communication, Hearing Loss by Jack Felix, ACA, BC, HISLeave a Comment

Jack Felix, ACA, BC, HIS

Having a hearing loss can be difficult. But trying to explain it to someone who has normal hearing can be even harder. Hearing loss is an invisible disability so it is often misunderstood, downplayed or even ignored, sometimes even by those closest to you. Hearing loss can have a huge impact on your life, and the lives of those who love you. Many people affected by loss of hearing have difficulty explaining to friends and families how their own perceptions in everyday life changed when they started to lose their hearing. It is not just that everything becomes quieter, but there is often lack of clarity in speech, sensitivity to loud noise, and the exhaustion that comes with heavy bursts of communication. Here are common things that are important to understand when dealing with people with hearing loss.

Living with hearing loss can be exhausting

Listening for comprehension requires focus. That level of focus is different for someone with normal hearing than it is for those with hearing loss. People with normal hearing are able to listen passively and can even allow their attention to wander to an iPhone television screen or other distractions. Even while distracted a person with healthy hearing can often still respond to auditory cues in the conversation. For someone with hearing loss, multitasking during a conversation means something completely different. In fact, multitasking frequently interferes with their ability to follow the discussion. They typically have to devote greater attention to reading your lips and deciphering cues and gestures. This focus can be extremely exhausting.

People with hearing loss are not stupid or rude

People with hearing loss have the same range of intelligence as the general population without hearing loss. People with untreated, or inadequately treated, hearing loss may sometimes respond inappropriately since they may have not heard what was said. Those who are not familiar with relay service may assume that the additional time is because the person with the hearing loss is not intelligent.

People with hearing loss often have difficulty obtaining employment because of a misconception that they cannot do more than simple tasks. This attitude dates back to when remedies for hearing loss were few or nonexistent. Thanks to advancements in technology a person with a hearing loss is fully employable but may need certain accommodations for effective communication, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is always best to ask the person what type of accommodation is needed.

Hearing aids don’t work like glasses

Glasses transform blurry images into something crisp and clear restoring your vision to normal. With hearing aids, this is not the case. Hearing aids amplify sounds, but this only makes them louder, not necessarily crisper or clearer. Thanks to advancements in hearing aid technology there are now hearing aids with background canceling capabilities that amplify speech while canceling out the hum of an air conditioner or traffic sounds. Hearing loss isn’t simply a loss of auditory capability, it also significantly impacts the relationship between the neurological and auditory pathways by causing the brain to forget, overtime, how to interpret certain sounds. It is important to wear hearing aids regularly to relieve your brain of having to work overtime to understand what is being communicated around you with out their aid.

People with hearing loss can still communicate effectively

What someone with hearing loss needs is courtesy, consideration and communication. Treat someone with a hearing loss, as you yourself like to be treated. When a person speaks, clues are gained not only from what is heard but also from what is seen. These clues complement and supplement each other, helping us to follow a conversation. For people with hearing loss the visual clues of speech become very important. Simple actions on your part, as the hearing person, may determine the ease with which these visual clues can be followed.

Hearing Care Centers

To find out more about living with hearing loss visit us at Hearing Care Centers. We can help you understand what kind of hearing loss you have and the best way to treat it. Because not all hearing aids are created equal, Hearing Care Centers tailors hearing aid technology recommendations to your individual needs, and we have verification measures to make sure that your hearing aids are perfect for you.

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