How do you talk with other people about your hearing loss?
By Top-Rated Charlotte Audiologist, Dr. Gosu
Living with hearing loss can feel like an uphill battle. You’re tired of pretending to understand your child or grandchild over the phone. You’re tired of feeling out of the loop during meetings at work. You’re tired of avoiding restaurants and gatherings with your friends because it’s too difficult to participate in conversation.
It’s easy to understand how hearing loss can contribute to social isolation – constantly asking people to speak up or repeat themselves is embarrassing and frustrating.
Working with an audiologist to select the right hearing aid can greatly improve your hearing (learn more about selecting the right hearing aid style here), but it’s also a smart idea to discuss your hearing loss with your family, friends and coworkers to minimize frustration and improve your relationships.
To help you navigate these conversations, we’ve compiled 3 tips for talking about hearing loss:
1. Choose who you’re going to tell thoughtfully.
There’s no need to tell everyone, but letting the right people know will help them be more mindful of your hearing and feelings.
For example, hearing loss can impact how you communicate with your significant other, so you’ll want to make sure to have an open and honest discussion with them about what sounds and places are difficult for you. At work, you’ll want your boss and coworkers to be aware that they might need to email you more often or meet in person rather than over the phone.
2. Offer specific suggestions about how to communicate with you.
Maybe you understand your husband or wife better when they face you when they speak. Maybe you’re able to hear more clearly out of your left ear than your right ear. Maybe it’s helpful for your coworker to speak your name before asking you a question. Maybe it’s better to FaceTime or text with your grandchildren than talk to them over the phone.
Let people know your preferences so that they understand how to best connect with you.
3. Ask for help when you need it.
Asking for help can be daunting, but the people who love you will understand and want to be there for you. Your closest friends and family members have probably already noticed your hearing loss, and might even be bothering you to do something about it. If this is the case, calmly explain to them that you will ask for help when you’re ready. And if you are ready to meet with an audiologist, ask someone close to you to come with you to the office to provide support.
You can learn more about the questions you should ask your audiologist in this blog post.
Want to meet with an audiologist? Click here to schedule an appointment online with Dr. Gosu.