“What?” “Huh?” Are those responses that you consistently hear from your loved one?
Hearing loss is not only frustrating for the individual with a loss, but also for their communication partners. Hearing loss affects communication. Communication is a two way street so when one way is affected, both parties suffer. Constantly needing to repeat yourself is tiring, especially when it’s with someone you communicate with daily.
What Can You Do To Help: Be Supportive and Be Involved!
Go with your loved one to their audiology appointments. Communicate with the audiologist. The first step in helping is understanding, and that starts with understanding the hearing loss. You can learn so much from a good explanation of the hearing system and hearing test results. Understanding the benefits and limitations of hearing aids and having proper expectations can prevent a lot of frustration. An audiologist can give you tips for communicating with individuals with hearing loss. (Many of these tips are also available on the HRC Blog!) In some cases it may be necessary to assist a hearing aid user with cleaning and maintenance of the hearing aids. This simple knowledge could save the user trips to the audiologist for basic cleaning that can be done at home. It may prevent them from going weeks with a hearing aid that is not working properly.
Be Part of the Team
Better hearing is an ongoing process. Hearing loss gradually worsens over time and technology continually changes and improves. Hearing needs to be retested and hearing aids reprogrammed. The hearing aid user, their communication partners, and the audiologist are all on the same team, with the same goal- better hearing!