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If you have a loved one, friend, or partner with untreated hearing loss, you are familiar with the struggle to understand one another. The scene often begins with a phrase spoken in the other direction, without the ability to see one another, at too quiet a volume, or in a noisy place. When you speak those words, it begins a long chain of confusion between the two of you.
Some people try to hide the fact that they cannot quite hear what you said. Your loved one may make guesses at the meaning of your speech, with varying degrees of accuracy. Some people feel compelled to make up what you may have meant and to steer the conversation in a new direction. Others may ignore you altogether, pretending if the mumbled or unclear words you uttered had never been spoken. In worse cases, a person with hearing loss may become angry, frustrated, or even lash out. Some people find it easier to blame the speaker for their improper delivery rather than admitting that they are struggling to hear.
The good news is that you don’t have to stay in this difficult, confusing, and sometimes hurtful style of communication. If you have a person close to you with unassisted hearing loss, the opportunity is there for you to make some simple improvements to your communication style that will make a world of difference.
Communicate the Condition
If someone you love has untreated hearing loss, the first step toward healthy communication will be to encourage that person to admit the state of hearing ability. Many people find that admitting to hearing loss is tantamount to admitting to being elderly or enfeebled, but the fact is that many people have all sorts of hearing loss at varying degrees and at different stages of life. As well, the vast majority of people who reach older age face some form of hearing loss. If you can encourage your loved one to simply admit to hearing loss, the rest of the puzzle will fall into place. Simply mentioning to a speaker, “I’m having trouble hearing you” can make the process of conversation much easier. Asking a person to speak more loudly or to look in your direction can ease communication, as well.
Making it Easier on Yourself
Even a person who is hesitant to admit to hearing loss can take simple steps to make communication easier. Orienting directly in front of the speaker has two benefits. In the first place the speaker is projecting sound directly to the listener. The other benefit is the ability to read lips and the expression of the person speaking. Although this communication environment is not always possible, it can make a world of difference in the process of speech. Some people also have asymmetrical hearing loss, favoring one ear over the other. If that is the case, it can help to orient your body so that sound goes more directly to the good ear.
Seeking Hearing Assistance
Staying calm in the face of a struggle to communicate goes a long way toward the success of a conversation, but there is only one solution that can truly remedy the problem: hearing assistance.
After your loved one is able to admit to hearing loss, it should be a simpler process toward seeking hearing assistance. The first step you can take is to schedule a hearing exam with us at Hear Care. A hearing test will be simple, quick, and harmless, and the hearing specialist will follow up with a consultation about the available options and technology.
With the range of options before you, you can help your loved one make the right decision about how to assist the gaps in hearing. Some people require assistance all the time, while others can benefit from hearing aids in challenging environments like noisy social events or loud transportation.
Visit Us at HearCare in Rhode Island
If you are feeling the struggle to communicate, why not take steps toward a durable solution? Rather than trying to fill in the gaps in a conversation, treating hearing loss with the use of hearing aids can drastically improve your hearing health – and your overall health as well! Contact our team at Hear Care today to schedule an appointment.