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10 Ways You can Support Someone With Hearing Loss

By September 1, 2023No Comments

Living with hearing impairment can lead to a sense of detachment from the world, surroundings, and people, resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness. This often contributes to heightened levels of depression and anxiety. Mental health struggles are frequently associated with hearing loss, underscoring the importance of raising awareness about this issue. Managing both hearing loss and mental health challenges can be overwhelming for individuals on their own. Therefore, if you have a loved one dealing with hearing loss, offering support and empathy is crucial.

Supporting someone with hearing loss isn’t always taught, and it can be especially complex when assisting a partner or friend who previously had normal hearing but is now experiencing hearing loss. They might be in denial or shocked, triggering a range of emotions.

By being attentive  to your partner, friend, or family members  hearing limitations and incorporating strategies into your daily interactions, you can demonstrate your support and care.

  1. Choose the Right Setting: The environment plays a vital role Choosing the appropriate environment is highly important – Certain elements  to pay attention to is whether or not there is loud background noise. Loud background noises can be very distracting for someone with hearing loss, and make it extremely difficult for them to hear conversations, even with a hearing aid device.
    • Consider lighting as well. While dim and moody lighting might be aesthetically pleasing, it’s tough for someone with hearing loss. Many individuals with hearing loss rely on lip-reading to follow conversations, and inadequate lighting hinders this.
  2. Direct Communication: How you communicate matters. Face your partner, be close, speak at a moderate level, and articulate clearly. Avoid over-enunciation, which can come off as condescending.
  3. Regular Check-Ins: Regularly inquire about your partner’s well-being and feelings. This demonstrates care and provides honest feedback, enhancing communication and support.
  4. Use Captions: When watching TV or movies, use captions. This helps your partner without them having to ask.
  5. Listen and Understand: Sometimes, being supportive means just listening. Let them know you’re there to listen if they need to talk. Avoid giving unsolicited advice.
  6. Patience: Stay patient and avoid displaying frustration. Miscommunications are normal; showing frustration can hurt their self-esteem.
  7. Encourage Professional Help: Encourage seeking treatment from an audiologist if your loved one hasn’t already. Untreated hearing loss can lead to more issues.
  8. Relay what was said in group settings: if you are in public or at any social outing and you find your partner is not involved in the conversation, try to relay what others are saying and ask them a question to help them engage in conversation.
  9. Recognize Limits: Hearing loss can be mentally draining. Be aware of signs of listening fatigue and know when it’s time to leave social settings.
  10. Promote Healthy Habits: Encourage a healthy lifestyle for better mental and hearing health.

By implementing these strategies, you can provide valuable support to those struggling with hearing loss, mental health issues, or both. If you or someone you know is experiencing hearing related problems, don’t hesitate to seek out treatment. Our highly skilled audiologists at Lake Shore Audiology can help treat your unique hearing loss. Contact us today or call (716) 674-4188.