According to some projections by the World Health Organization, by 2050, around 2.5 billion people will suffer some degree of hearing loss. While around 700 million are expected to require hearing rehabilitation.
Age-related hearing loss is very common and normal. As a person ages, the loss of hearing progresses. This made us explore and explain the common hearing loss difficulties and discuss communication strategies and tips for better understanding.
In continuation, we’ll also share some pointers for individuals on the lookout for an experienced audiologist in Miami. You’ll get to know how you can get your hand on quality hearing aids in Miami as well.
So, let’s begin.
Hearing Loss and Communication
Hearing loss can take a considerable toll on communication. Certain sounds can become difficult to decode due to their higher frequency. Individuals with a hearing impairment may miss certain sounds or even whole sentences. It is also not uncommon for them to become more isolated due to group conversations becoming increasingly difficult.
Hearing loss and social participation
Individuals who experience hearing loss can find communication increasingly difficult. This can often lead to social withdrawal. If you feel that your hearing has gone drastically worse, it’s important to consult with a professional. For most, the best remedy is investing in quality hearing aids.
However, there are different types of hearing aids based on the support you need. Our New Gen Choice Fitting Program can help you find a fitting solution. By taking factors such as budget, degree of hearing loss, and lifestyle into account, our audiologist in Miami can assist you in choosing the right type of hearing aid.
However, keep in mind that hearing loss is not always permanent. It might be often caused by factors such as accumulated earwax and infections.
Communication Strategies for People With Hearing Loss
Here are some of the most used communication tips for people with hearing loss. As we mentioned earlier, communication is not one-sided.
Throughout the sections below, you will find useful advice for individuals with impaired hearing and those who find themselves on the other side of the conversation.
Be upfront about your impairment
The first step in creating space for effectual communication is being honest. Start by informing the other person that you have hearing loss. Though this might be uncomfortable at first, there is nothing to be shameful about.
This will be a sign for the other speaker that they need to use adjective strategies to ease the conversation. In general, many find it best to be as specific as possible. This can be done casually by telling another person that you have hearing loss and you’d appreciate them speaking louder or slower.
Using visual cues
Communication is both auditory and visual. Paying attention to the visual segments is crucial in decoding the meaning of a message. This can be done by reading the facial expressions and lips of others while they speak.
Non-verbal cues such as body language and gestures can bring greater clarity into conversation. However, these may also fail to meet your needs. When this happens, you can resort to other options.
You can rely on visual cues and identify the words of others with lip-reading. This practice might be helpful to both hearing-impaired individuals and those who have healthy hearing.
Some people speak naturally fast, and it might be unclear to determine what they’re saying. When communicating with a fast-talker, lipreading is anticipated. If reading lips gets difficult for you, kindly remind the other person to speak slower.
If everything else fails, you can always resort to writing a piece of information down for the other person to read.
A person with impaired hearing will not take offense in written communication. The overall goal is effective communication. It remains important to choose a means of communication appropriate for the setting.
Pay attention to positioning and lightning
Always aim to get as much as possible out of the difficult situation. One of the simplest rules is to make sure the light isn’t behind the other person. This applies when you are out in the open, at a party, a small home gathering or at a restaurant.
Proper lighting ensures you can see the speaker’s face more clearly. This makes lip reading easier. As a rule of thumb, when sitting at a restaurant, always choose the section with the high-seating booths. It will reduce background noise and allow more quality time.
Repeating and rephrasing
Repeating and rephrasing are standard parts of casual conversation. Repeating your words to someone will make them feel seen and valued. Rephrasing helps avoid shaming and blaming the other for their hearing difficulty.
Ask or provide clarification by rephrasing. This will help avoid any potential misunderstanding or awkward silences.
Even though shouting might seem like a reasonable solution, it never is. Shouting represents anger, and internally we are all repelled by it. It is better to rely on other tips we mentioned to ensure effective communication. Speaking clearly and slowly works better than putting a strain on your vocal cords.
Eliminate background noise
Do as much as possible to keep background noise to a minimum. Regulating background noise usually refers to controlled settings. As we all know, background noise makes conversations increasingly difficult. This is why people with hearing loss are often prone to avoiding noisy, crowded places.
You can cut down on background noise by closing the window. That way, the outside commotion will not interfere with the conversation. Lowering the TV volume or the music is also a good practice.
Individuals suffering from hearing loss can be a bit slower with their replies. It might take them a bit longer to process what is being said and to respond. Jumping in mid-sentence or finishing their sentences is not only rude but also unacceptable.
Individuals with impaired hearing should also be patient with themselves. It is important to accept yourself. Remind yourself that there is nothing shameful about your hearing problem. People will understand your position and provide you with a safe space.
Find the Right Hearing Aids
One of the greatest battles for individuals who suffer hearing loss is conquering background noise. Luckily, advanced technology has found ways to filter unwanted sounds and enhance speech.
Most hearing aids on the market come with directional microphones and noise-reduction options. Still, performance varies based on the model and manufacturer. You can start by giving a frequency test a try, or you can schedule a consultation with our NewGen audiologist in Miami.
Our hearing aids in Miami feature over 15 types of assistive listening devices, each with its unique design. Advanced options vary and include everything from Bluetooth connectivity to streaming music.
These are just some of the general features of the models, and to receive a more in-depth, professional observation, it is best to consult with a professional.