If you are living with hearing loss, you aren’t alone. It’s a common problem among older adults with more people suffering from hearing loss than diabetes or vision trouble.
It can have a profound effect on your life, and the longer you experience hearing loss, the greater the impact will be. Social activities become isolating because you can’t hear, interpersonal relationships can diminish, and safety can even be compromised.
The good news is, just because you’re experiencing hearing loss doesn’t mean you have to give up your quality of life! There are quite a few things you can do that will make dealing with hearing loss a little easier. See this article for information on visual supports for autism that may also benefit hearing-impaired individuals.
Get the Right Hearing Aid
One of the best things you can do if you’re suffering from hearing loss, regardless of how minor or major, is to get a hearing aid.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking all hearing aids are equal! There are a few different types of hearing loss, and you can experience any combination of these types, so it’s important to choose your hearing aid carefully.
Some of the best hearing aid types to consider with your ENT include:
- Mini behind-the-ear
- Traditional in-the-ear
- Completely in-the-ear
In addition, some hearing aids can help with tinnitus, some can make sounds more clear, while others can help reduce background noise. It’s important to meet with a doctor to determine your exact challenges so you can get a hearing aid that really does make a difference in your life.
Look at Others When They Are Speaking
Hearing aids are a great way for you to get back some of your hearing, but they aren’t a perfect solution. Depending on the severity of your hearing loss and the type of hearing loss you struggle with, you will also want to consider making small changes in your everyday life that will make it easier to live with hearing loss.
One of the best is to simply look at the person you’re speaking to while they are speaking. A whopping 55 percent of communication is body language. Even if you can’t hear what they are saying, if you can see their face and how they are moving, you’ll likely understand what it is they are trying to communicate.
Not to mention, if you watch them speak, you may be able to pick up on what they are saying by watching their mouth move, even if you can’t quite hear.
Choose Text Messages Over Phone Calls
It wasn’t all that long ago that the only way you could communicate with someone far away was to talk to them on the phone. If you struggle with hearing loss, trying to communicate on the phone can be a nightmare.
There are many wonderful reasons to text, but one of the best is hearing loss. Not only do you not have to try and hear what the other person is saying, but you can also go back and check the text message later for important information.
Stop Asking “What?”
If you have trouble with your hearing, chances are, you’ve asked “What?” quite a few times. You should absolutely feel like you can ask people to repeat themselves, as giving up and not understanding can contribute to isolation and even depression. Just rethink how you ask.
Stop asking “What?” if there’s something you missed and get more specific about your request. Ask if they can repeat the last part they said if they can speak a little slower, or you can simply repeat back to them what you heard. It’s a more conversational approach to asking “What?”, and it often feels a little less embarrassing.
Know Your Limits
It is important to know your limits if you struggle with hearing loss. If there are certain situations that make it more difficult for you to hear, and if you’re feeling fatigued, don’t be afraid to take a break.
For example, it’s normal to have a hard time following a conversation in noisy environments. If you’re trying to have a conversation, consider stepping outside. If you’re feeling strained to try to listen to someone speak, let them know you’re having a hard time hearing and ask if you can pick up your conversation again later. It’s much better, to be honest about your limits than it is to struggle through a conversation.
You aren’t stuck not understanding those around you! Follow these tips and you will find that dealing with hearing loss isn’t quite as bad as you feared.