Holiday Tips for Communicating With Hearing LossNov 25, 2015
Suffering from hearing loss during the holiday season can cause added stress and hinder your relationships with family and friends. So what can you do? Here are some tips for better communication during the holiday season and beyond...
Suffering from hearing loss during the holiday season can cause added stress and hinder your relationships with family and friends. Engaging in conversation can be stressful when you have to listen to someone speak through background music, adjacent conversations, laughter and televisions on full blast.
Many people faced with this type of difficult communication simply isolate themselves from loved ones to avoid the stress. And it’s common for those with hearing loss to be left out of activities and conversations by others who don’t want to deal with difficult communication. Either way, impaired hearing can take the cheer out of the holidays. So what can you do?
Here are some tips for better communication during the holiday season and beyond:
- Get hearing aids! While hearing aids can seem like a burden, many people find them to be a huge blessing in disguise, opening up a world of lost sounds and easing communication considerably. Today’s hearing aids are smaller and more discreet than ever. Some even fit inside your ear canal where no one can see them. Modern hearing aids are tiny computers that automatically adjust to different sound environments to give you an optimal hearing experience wherever you go.
- Be confident in asking others to repeat themselves or to speak up. It shows the other person that you care about what they’re saying.
- Look at the other person straight on and don’t hesitate to ask them to face you while they talk. This makes it easier to understand speech because you can hear with both ears.You will also be able to pick up on various non-verbal cues to help you understand what’s being said, such as facial expressions, gestures, and reading lips.
- Ask people to speak slowly and clearly. If you still can’t understand them, ask them to rephrase what they’re saying in a different way.
- Be patient with yourself and others. If you find yourself becoming frustrated, take a deep breath, stay calm and try again. The conversation may be difficult for the other person as well, so be patient with them even if they are becoming frustrated with you. And if you’re the one speaking to someone who has difficulty hearing, remember that they’re doing the best they can.
If you’re having difficulty hearing, go for a hearing test with an experienced audiologist. You’ll get a baseline measure of your hearing ability and a diagnosis for any hearing loss. It could be caused by something simple to fix like wax build-up or a side-effect of medications you’re taking. You’ll also get recommendations for ways to improve your hearing.
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If you’re in the Washington, DC Metro Area, we invite you to come in for a free, no-obligation hearing test and consultation at one of our 6 convenient locations. Call (703) 942-8110 to book your appointment today. We look forward to your visit!
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