7 Tips for Telling Others About Your Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects every aspect of your life, and it’s important the people around you are kept in the loop of what you’re experiencing. Read ahead for tips on how to be your own advocate for your hearing health.
If you’ve taken Beltone’s online hearing screening or booked a free consultation with a hearing care professional, congratulations— you’ve taken the first step in your journey toward better hearing.
You’re now in the perfect position to tell those around you about your hearing loss and explain the best ways to communicate with you in the future. Read ahead for some helpful tips to empower you to feel more confident when talking to friends, family, or coworkers about your hearing loss.
1. Don’t be embarrassed
Many of us can be apprehensive when talking openly about our health. Don’t be shy or embarrassed about your hearing loss. The more accepting you are, the sooner those around you will learn how best to communicate with you. Use this opportunity to educate them as you may find that many people will be quite interested to hear what you have to say.
2. Stay positive
Address your hearing loss to those around you. Let your family, friends, and coworkers know if you wear hearing aids and that you may miss hearing things at times. Explain how your hearing aids work and which listening situations may be a challenge.
3. Take action
If you find yourself in unfavorable listening conditions, be sure to let those around you know. If turning off the radio or television helps, then ask this of your companions. If it helps to sit in a certain seat in a busy restaurant, make the request. Be assertive in creating a favorable environment that makes communication more effective.
4. Speak up
If you’ve missed something in the conversation, be sure to speak up and ask the talker to repeat themselves. This will help avoid any misunderstandings that may result in frustration and communication breakdown.
5. Active listening
When participating in active listening, provide feedback on what you’ve heard to the speaker to ensure you understood what is being said. Including this in your communication toolbox will help you avoid miscommunication and frustration as well as show your communication partner that you’re interested in what they have to say.
6. Give feedback and ask for help
Inform others of ways they can help you hear better. Offer some of the following tips:
- “Please catch my attention before you speak to me. It’s easier for me to understand if I’m looking at you.”
- “Speak clearly and not too fast.”
- “Use body language to help illustrate what you’re saying.”
- “Repeat yourself if you think I may not have heard you.”
7. Know your rights in the workplace
Depending on where you live and work, there may be laws in place to protect individuals with hearing loss in the workplace. If you have noise-induced hearing loss caused by your work environment, you may be entitled to ear protection and/or compensation.