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Talking About Hearing Loss

Talking about

Communication is, perhaps, themost important part of life.  We’re social creatures.  We share knowledge, jokes, smiles, kind words and even arguments.  We share everything.

The ability to hear is integral to how we share with one-another, so it’s often hard for someone to accept that they’re becoming hard of hearing.  Talking to them about hearing loss can be extremely difficult.

No matter how frustrated you may be with their inability to hear you, try to be patient.  Always remember that they may be more frustrated than you are.  This is an important rule of thumb, even before you have a conversation with them about hearing loss.

Plan the conversation in advance, at a time and place free of noise or other distractions, and plan to make it a one-on-one conversation.  This way, they won’t have to focus on more than one speaker at a time, which is important for anyone with hearing loss.

Enter the conversation in such a way that they will understand that you’re on their side.  Talk to them as if they may already be aware of their hearing loss, but avoid sounding accusatory.

If they begin to open up and talk about their feelings, listen, and avoid interjecting any opinions. Above all, accentuate the positive: Conversations will be easier, and entertainment will sound better, after their hearing loss is treated.

Finally, be supportive and empathetic.  Offer to accompany them to their appointments.  Approach their treatment as if it’s a team effort, since you’ll be there to catch any information that they may miss.

Ensure they know you appreciate their efforts. After a while, you’ll be communicating together better than ever before!

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