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Maintaining Healthy Communication with Hearing Loss Barriers


March 25, 2016

Hearing loss can affect many things about a person’s life. A person can feel the sadness or lonliness that can accompany the onset of hearing loss as soon as they get the results from their first hearing test. One aspect of life that hearing loss has the most profound effect on is often a person’s relationships.
 
“Hearing loss does not just affect an individual, but also one’s family and friends.”
— Michael A. Harvey, Ph.D., psychologist, author of Listen with the Heart: Relationships and Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can decrease a person’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth. What joys they used to find in communicating with loved ones can feel endangered as people struggle to cope with their loss of hearing.
The best thing a spouse, close friend, or family member can do to help preserve their relationships with a person suffering from hearing loss is to make sure the channel of communication stays open. There are plenty of tips to make sure that you are communicating effectively.
  • First, make sure you have your loved one’s attention before beginning to speak. Be patient with your loved one, because they are struggling, too. It is not any more convenient for them than it is for you. You can get your loved one’s attention by making sure they are looking at your face while you speak, saying their name clearly and making sure they can hear you before launching into a conversation. Turn off background noise, or sit closer to them so it is easier for them to hear.
  • Hearing loss is often diagnosed with an audiogram, and finding the perfect hearing aid depends greatly on the audiogram results they receive, and the proper interpretation of those results. Support your loved one as they go through the difficult process of learning about their options to improve their hearing by going through resources and information with them. You may want to suggest therapy if they are truly suffering. You could even go with them so they know you’re sticking by them and make them feel as supported as possible.
  • Hearing aids are often the most beneficial next step for those embarking on their new experience with hearing loss. They do not correct hearing, but they do improve it - which can vastly improve a person’s communication abilities, thereby dramatically improving their quality of life. If your loved one is confused about what to do, help them along to the best of your ability as they navigate all their options.  
One thing you can recommend to your loved one before they decide to buy hearing aids is to go through the American Hearing Association of America’s amazing checklist to make sure they have everything they need to make an informed decision before purchasing hearing aids. Once they are ready to make an informed decision, we want to help provide them with the perfect hearing aids for their needs and their budget.

When you and your loved one are ready, check out all of our resources to make great decisions about hearing aids. Resonance Hearing Aids provides top of the line hearing aids at an affordable price. Cost should never stand in the way between a person and their quality of life, which is why we make sure we work with each customer to give them the best experience possible. If your loved one has a hard time hearing on the phone, consider making the call on speaker, so you can help them understand what is being said if they begin to struggle.

View our handy comparison chart with your loved one after each hearing test so they know they have your support through this difficult time, and help them make the best decision for their changing needs. With love and support, people suffering from hearing loss will continue to have meaningful relationships and healthy communication. All it takes is a little dedication, understanding, and patience - which you already give to those you love.