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Help a loved one with hearing loss

It is the person who cannot hear well who has the problem right?

Well, not really. Hearing loss affects the entire family, not just the person who has it. Spouses, children and friends all find themselves trying to cope with their loved one’s hearing loss, oftentimes attempting to compensate by doing things like speaking more loudly or more clearly, repeating or rephrasing the conversation of others, reducing background noise, or getting their attention before speaking, and trying not to change topics without some sort of warning … It can be frustrating for everyone.

The inability to hear can also pose dangers to a person suffering from the loss of hearing. From the sounds of emergency vehicles or a honking horn on the roadway to the sound of cries for help, the potential to put lives at risk is real.
The sadness of seeing the situation worsen and watching as a loved one isolates themselves from the people and activities they enjoy can be difficult as well. Convincing someone to seek help for hearing loss is the right thing to do, but it’s not always easy.

What you can do

Begin the conversation with your loved one. Explain your concerns.

Gently remind them of their hearing loss every time you “translate” or have to repeat something for them.
Encourage them to visit a hearing professional and offer to schedule and attending a hearing consultation with them.
Remind them they have nothing to loss and potentially everything to gain by seeing a hearing professional.

But more than anything, remember to be understanding. If you feel frustrated trying to speak to someone with a hearing loss, think for a minute how they must feel. As much as you want your loved one to hear what you have to say, they want to be able to listen, understand and respond.

The Center for Hearing
7531 Memorial Pkwy SW, Suite C, Huntsville, Alabama
(256) 489-7700