How Can I Better Communicate With Someone With A Hearing Loss
Hearing aids are beneficial in many situations. However, there are some listening events where hearing aids alone cannot provide enough benefit. In those situations, communication partners can help the person with hearing loss be more successful in hearing. Remember, communication involves at least two individuals: a talker who sends the message, and a listener who receives the message. You, as a member of this communication pair, can improve the conversation by following a few simple strategies.
How Does Hearing Loss Occur
In order to understand how hearing loss affects communication, its important to understand how it can occur in the first place.;
One way is known as conductive hearing loss. This occurs due to damage in the middle or outer ear. Often this can occur after experiencing a ruptured eardrum or a case of impacted earwax.;
Another type is known as sensorineural hearing loss. This occurs when hair cells in the inner ear are damaged, and often occurs as a natural part of aging and lifestyle. If someone likes to listen to loud music on a regular basis or works around loud noise, this is the most common type of hearing loss that can follow.;
Another extremely common type of hearing loss is known as tinnitus, which often presents in the form of ringing in the ears.;
Now that youre aware of the most common hearing-impaired experiences, below is one of the more negative sides of living with a hearing impairment, as well as a big benefit of growing and learning with a hearing aid in place.;
Interacting With Others When You Have Hearing Loss
Another change that you might notice when you have hearing loss is in the way others interact with you. If people know that you have hearing loss, then they might take extra measures to ensure that you can hear them. For example, they might decide to speak louder and more directly to you, or they might speak a little slower and clearer just to ensure you can make out what theyre saying.
In that sense, hearing loss can affect communication by making others react differently when trying to converse with you. They might avoid using rapid sentences, they might make sure theyve got your attention before trying to speak, and they might avoid trying to converse with you unless youre in the same room.
Those that dont realize that you have hearing loss might have difficulty communicating with you at first. It may seem like youre ignoring them, or they might find it strange if you ask them to repeat what theyre saying several times. However, most people are easily more accepting of your hearing loss if you let them know, and most people will adjust the way they communicate with you to ensure that you can hear them properly.
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How Does Hearing Loss Affect Behavior
Slight hearing loss may affect kids’ behavior, school performance. – Children with slight hearing loss may do a little less well in school and may be a bit more likely to develop behavior problems, a new study suggests.
Also, how does hearing loss affect school performance? Hearing loss causes delays in the development of speech and language, and those delays then lead to learning problems, often resulting in poor school performance. In addition to the classroom environment, certain subjects are just intrinsically more difficult for a child with hearing loss.
Similarly, it is asked, how does hearing loss affect quality of life?
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions to affect aging adults. Having a hearing loss can significantly impact a person’s ability to communicate with others, and lead to a reduced quality of life. As older adults are living longer there is an increased number of individuals that are living with hearing loss.
How can hearing loss affect you physically?
How Hearing Loss Affects Your Physical Health. Studies have shown that hearing deterioration actually affects a person physical as much as mentally. Depression, stress, reduced alertness, diminished memory, and negativism are just a few possible consequences.
Do Audiologists Go To Medical School
The short answer is no, audiologists are not medical doctors. Audiologists do not have to earn a doctorate degree to practice audiology. All audiologists earn a masters degree in their field. Some audiologists go on to earn a doctor of audiology degree, which is the equivalent of a PhD, but it is not a medical degree.
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Types Of Hearing Loss
Medicalprofessionals classify hearing loss into four types and four levels. The fourmajor types of hearing loss include:
- Conductive Hearing Loss: Soundwaves are unable to reach themiddle ear from the outer ear. Typically is treated with surgery ormedications.
- Sensorineural Hearing Loss: An issue within the inner ear orfrom nerves within the ear as a whole.
- Mixed Hearing Loss: A combination of both conductive and sensorineuralhearing loss.
- Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder: When soundwaves enter the ear but are not processed and transmitted to the brain correctly due to the inner ear or nerve damage.
Thevarious levels at which hearing loss can occur includes:
- Mild Hearing Loss: A person can hear most sounds, and easily carry on anindividual conversation, but struggle to discern either soft sounds or to hearover moderate background noise.
- Moderate Hearing Loss: A person must ask others to repeatthemselves and struggle with conversations at what would be considered normallevels.
- Severe Hearing Loss: A person may only be able to discernloud noises or sounds. Conversations are challenging and for most require ahearing aid to understand them.
- Profound Hearing Loss: Unable to hear others speak, except when shouting orspeaking incredibly loud. Cant hold a conversation without the use of animplant or hearing aid.
How Can We Help Hearing Impaired
Communicating with People with Hearing Loss
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Will A Hearing Aid Restore My Hearing To Normal
Do hearing aids restore my hearing to normal? Hearing aids are not a cure for hearing loss. Although they do not restore your hearing back to normal, hearing aids make communication easier by making most sounds available to you. They are designed to maximize hearing potential, and in turn, improve quality of life.
Hearing Loss Can Make You Feel Tired
Hearing loss is tiring for all parties involved. It is tiring for the person who is hard of hearing because they have to strain to hear what is going on around them continually. And it is tiring for the other person who is trying to ensure that they are understood.;
As hearing loss progresses, people with the condition can find themselves missing out on entire words or sentences. They can often get the wrong end of the stick and reply to a question that they have not been asked. Furthermore, it can be difficult for the person asking the question to correct their understanding, especially if they cannot hear well. The result of all of this is that both parties wind up feeling exhausted, even when asking something as simple as what would you like for dinner?
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They Make It Easier To Have A Real Conversation
People with hearing loss have a tendency to withdraw into themselves because conversation becomes embarrassing and difficult. You may not realize it at first, but youre putting distance between yourself and your loved one by avoiding conversation, whether that be in person or on the phone. Hearing aids, while they take some getting used to, allow you to engage in conversation and maintain your connection with your partner much better than if you didnt wear them.
Put Yourself In Their Ears
While in graduate school to become an audiologist, one of my professors gave me and my classmates some interesting homework. He wanted us to experience if even for a short time what people with hearing loss felt.
- He had us wear bright orange foam earplugs all day for three days .
- We were allowed to ask others to speak up or repeat what we missed in conversation only for the first two days.
- We couldnt ask for help on the last day.
I vividly remember thinking, Oh this wont be that bad. These earplugs are just simulating a mild hearing loss. Im sure I wont even have to ask anyone to repeat what they said. Of course I was wrong.;
Once out of the classroom, I felt embarrassed wearing these large orange earplugs. But worse than that was the sheepishness I felt having to constantly ask friends and cohorts to speak up or repeat themselves.;
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How Hearing Loss Affects Life In Cities
The problems associated with hearing loss extend well beyond the office. When you leave to catch the bus or subway home, you rely on your hearing in a multitude of ways.
For instance, on the subway platform, when announcers cancel trains or let you know about delays, its hard enough to comprehend them over poor-quality PA systems without hearing loss. But when your ears cant pick up different words, and focusing on speech becomes hard, staying informed about transportation becomes a nightmare.
In unfamiliar cities, youll start to miss announcements about stops, or youll miss information given by station attendants. In the process, youll quickly come to understand how important speech is to getting around modern cities, even with all the apps in the world to guide us.
Then there are our fellow commuters. When we travel to and from work, we have to ask people to move aside, apologize, smile, say hello all of the little things that make massive movements of people run smoothly. If you cant hear well, it becomes more confusing and stressful to deal with strangers, particularly on packed buses or trains.
And finally theres the street. When you cant hear properly, it can be difficult to pick up the noise of approaching traffic, and pushbikes are really hard to detect, raising the risk of accidents.
How The Ear Works
Hearingloss can affect anyone, whether it be permanent or temporary. For manyindividuals, deterioration of their hearing occurs as they age. To understandhearing loss, and why it can happen, you first need to know how the ear works.
Consistingof three major parts the inner, middle, and outer ear your ability to hearbegins with sound waves passing through your outer ear. This movement createsvibrations within your eardrum, a passageway of sorts between your outer andmiddle ear. Then, the eardrum and three small bones the malleus, incus, andstapes amplify the vibrations.
Theamplified waves enter the inner ear and pass through the cochlea. Nerve cellswithin the cochlea then turn the vibrations into signals which are transmittedand converted into sounds within the brain.
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There Are Two Main Types Of Hearing Loss
‘Conductive’ hearing loss is caused by obstructions or malfunctions in the outer or middle ear. It can be caused by:;
- outer or middle ear infections and malfunctions
- a damaged ear drum
- impacted ear wax.
‘Sensorineural’ hearing loss is caused by damage to the hair cells in the inner ear. It can be caused by:;
- exposure to loud noise, such as machinery or loud music;
- diseases such as meningitis
- certain chemicals and medications, known as ototoxic medications.
They Allow You To Tune In To Each Other
All the extra communication opportunities hearing aids provide you allow you to become better tuned to your partners needs. Cohabitation becomes much easier when a couples understanding of each other improves. Plus, when your partner sees you making an effort to improve your hearing condition, theyre more likely to put in an effort also.
Living with hearing loss requires extra effort. But it requires a lot less effort if you take the available options to improve your hearing. Doing so will not only relieve the stress you experience every day, but reduce the stress it places on your loved one. Constant communication is necessary in a relationship, and communication comes much easier when you can hear one another.
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The Importance Of Our Ears In Daily Conversations
A lot of people dont realize that basic conversations rely heavily on the use of our ears. This is because we need to listen to the person were speaking to and converse as such. However, people also dont realize that they need to be actively trying to filter out background noises as well. For example, if there are multiple conversations going on, then you might find it challenging to speak to someone next to you due to your hearing loss. The overwhelming amount of noise can distract you and make it very difficult to converse if youre not focused or used to it.
This is one of the many ways that our ears can affect our communication. Since hearing loss makes it difficult for us to distinguish between sound at different levels, you might find yourself asking someone to repeat themselves many times before you understand what it is they said. This can be especially challenging in a noisy environment with many different types of sounds distracting you. This leads to more difficulties when attempting to do anything in a crowd when you have hearing loss.
As you can see, our ears are very important to the way we communicate with others. It can affect our ability to converse with others and may take some getting used to if youve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss from your audiologist.
How To Find The Right Treatment Option
Hearing aids can make a big difference not only in how well you can hear others, but how well you can continue to form your own words and sounds. They can drastically improve your speech or allow you to maintain a certain consistency with it, rather than worry about the way you speak getting worse with time.;
In addition to hearing aids or other assistive technology, everything from support groups to eliminating distractions and reducing background noise can make hearing and speaking easier for you.
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Using The Relay Service
Individuals with hearing loss, including those who are deaf, now have many helpful devices available to them. Text telephones enable persons to type phone messages over the telephone network.
The Telecommunications Relay Service makes it possible for TT users to communicate with virtually anyone via telephone through a communications assistant. Dial 711 to access all telecommunications relay services anywhere in the United States. The relay service is free.
Social Isolation Loneliness And Stigma
Impact on society and economy
Years Lived with Disability and Disability Adjusted Life Years
WHO estimates that unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of US$ 980 billion. This includes health sector costs , costs of educational support, loss of productivity, and societal costs. 57% of these costs are attributed to low- and middle-income countries.
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Does Speech Get Worse Without Treatment
The brain is a fascinating thing. It can adjust to the way your body changes. In this case, if your hearing loss isnt treated, your brain will start to adjust itself to not being able to hear certain frequencies associated with words and letters.;
As a result, your brain will interpret speech differently. If you have trouble hearing certain sounds and words theres a good chance youll have trouble speaking those same sounds and words, too.;
When a child experiences hearing loss, it can impact their speech development. They might grow up not being able to communicate verbally and may have a difficult time understanding what people are saying when they speak.;
As an adult, however, if youre experiencing hearing loss at an older age, you might still have an easier time understanding others and being able to form words yourself, if for no other reason than muscle memory. However, as stated above, as time goes on and you continue to experience hearing loss, you might find that youll have a harder time with your own speech, as well as understanding what others are saying.;
Unfortunately, that can lead to a variety of different mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, as well as difficulty concentrating. Some people who have trouble with their speech due to hearing loss even try to withdraw themselves from others.;
What Should You Not Do Before A Hearing Test
Dont let earwax get in between you and hearing the world around you. At least 2 days before your appointment for a hearing test, clean your ears of wax. Dont use cotton swabs or place anything in your ear smaller than your foot. Your ears can be easily damaged if you insert objects in your ear canal.
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Hearing Loss And Dementia
Most people aged over 70 will have some hearing loss. They may consider themselves deaf, hard of hearing or having acquired hearing loss. This may be due to age-related damage to the ears, or other causes such as noise damage, infection, diseases or injury.
People who are born deaf or become deaf at a young age may consider themselves as Deaf. They may use British Sign Language as their first language and identify with the Deaf community.
How a person with hearing loss communicates will depend on:
- the type of hearing loss they have
- whether they use a hearing aid, speak British Sign Language, lip-read or a combination of these
- their personal preference and life history.
People with hearing loss are likely to experience more difficulties as a result of their dementia. They may already find it harder to communicate. Not being able to hear what is going on around them or hear other people speak can add to their confusion.
Dementia and hearing loss can also make people feel socially isolated, so having both conditions at once can be very difficult for someone. This makes good communication even more important.
Alzheimers Society has information in British Sign Language online.;