Hearing loss is a condition that affects more than 48 million people living in the US and is estimated to cost the country more than $18 billion in lost taxes per year. Hearing loss is prevalent, and yet sufferers can still find it difficult to tell others about their condition, whether family members, a dating partner, or their boss.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to tell others about your hearing loss. The way you approach the subject will depend on your relationship with the other person. The closer you are to them, the harder you may find it to broach the subject.
Telling a friend, boss, or family member that you have hearing loss can lead them to worry that you are going to lose your hearing completely, affecting your quality of life and their relationship with you. But that’s not how most cases of hearing loss progress. Often, hearing loss is partial, meaning that with the right hearing aid setup, you can carry on with your life as usual.
Your job is to communicate the facts to the people around you who may not understand what hearing loss means, or how severe it. By staying positive, you’ll help put other people at ease and help prevent them from worrying about unlikely outcomes, such as a total loss of your capacity to hear.
Tell people about how they can adjust to your hearing loss
It is vital for people with hearing loss to maintain channels of communication with family members and loved ones. If they don’t, then they risk isolation and depression.
Those with hearing loss, therefore, should communicate their needs, so that everybody understands the situation. Things that can help include using body language to communicate ideas, speaking up in general conversation, and repeating sentences when it’s clear that you haven’t understood.
Hearing loss is nothing to be embarrassed about: it’s a common condition and something that affects many people, especially as they get older. Being confident about your status helps you to communicate about your needs with the people around you.
You could also offer an example to other people who may also need hearing aids for their hearing loss. Your success and confidence could be just what other people need to make the same decision as you and begin treating their hearing issues today.
Many people with hearing loss feel that they always have to put the needs of others first. But a lack of assertiveness about your requirements can lead to frustration and depression.
If you need people to speak up so that you can hear them, then say so. Likewise, if you can listen to a person talking to you better with the radio off, ask to turn it off and explain why. Being assertive not only improves quality of life but helps people understand your needs and accommodate them in the future.
Tell people what hearing aids do
Because hearing aids can be a mystery for some people, it’s a good idea to explain to the people around you what they do. The purpose of hearing aids is to amplify incoming sounds in a way that compensates for any deficit in your ear’s hearing sensitivity. Some hearing aids amplify all sounds, while you can calibrate others to increase the volume of specific difficult-to-hear frequencies.
Telling people what hearing aids do can help them understand that you haven’t “lost” your ability to hear – just that you need a little help making out all of the sounds you encounter in daily life.
Explaining hearing loss to your boss
Explaining hearing loss to your boss can be a challenge. You may worry about how he or she will react or whether it will affect your chances of promotion. The good news is that most managers are highly accommodating and will do what they can to adjust the workplace to your needs.
For instance, you may need to sit closer to the front during presentations to hear what’s being said, or you may have to ask your office to install a special telephone which can pipe sounds through to your hearing aids directly. Most bosses are willing to accommodate these small changes.
If you would like to find out more about hearing loss or book an appointment, then get in touch with Northgate Hearing Services today – a team of professional audiologists who can assist with all aspects of living with hearing loss. Call us at 206-367-1345.