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Supporting Loved Ones with Hearing Loss

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

Do you suspect that someone you care about has a hearing loss? Knowing the signs and how best to support your loved one is an important step that can help encourage them to seek treatment.

Hearing can deteriorate so gradually that it goes almost unnoticed by those affected. Often times, the signs of hearing loss are mistakenly labeled “selective hearing” by friends and family. This is usually because the person with hearing loss is able to hear some sounds but not others. If left untreated, hearing loss may eventually cause those affected to withdraw and avoid social situations, quietly eroding their quality of life.

That’s why it’s important that you:

  • Motivate your loved one to get a hearing evaluation in order to determine the best course of action.

  • Learn ways to make conversations easier by being aware of the way that you communicate.

Recognizing the signs Does your loved one:

  • Frequently ask others to repeat what was said?

  • Complain that people are mumbling or that their voices sound muffled?

  • Turn the TV up to a volume that is uncomfortable for others?

  • Seem to have trouble hearing women's or children's voices?

  • Miss the doorbell or phone ringing?

  • Complain that they have ringing and/or buzzing in their ears?

  • Sometimes answer inappropriately to questions, as if answering a different question?

  • Have difficulty hearing in noisy public places like restaurants?

  • Find it especially difficult to follow group conversations?

  • Have a difficult time hearing on the phone?

  • Have trouble hearing or not even realize you are talking when you are not directly face-to-face?

  • Feel drained or stressed out by social situations?

  • Avoid or withdraw from social situations that they once enjoyed?

Communication Tips

  • Gain your loved one’s attention before speaking, so that they’re looking at you and focusing on what you’re saying.

  • Speak clearly and at a regular pace – avoid the impulse to shout.

  • Reduce as much background noise as possible, turn down the music or TV or find a quiet place to talk.

  • Move closer to them and sit where your face is easily visible, so that your facial expressions are easier to read.

  • If you are in a group, try not to interrupt or talk over each other.

  • Instead of repeating the same thing, try to rephrase the sentence.

  • Try not to talk while eating, or while your mouth or chin are hidden.

The first step to helping your loved one, is to encourage them to have their hearing tested by a Hearing Care Professional. A hearing test generally takes about an hour and is completely painless. We also recommend offering to join them for their appointment. Having someone with them not only provides moral support but there’s a great deal of information to digest. Two memories are better than one. If the test shows signs of hearing loss, the next step is to find the right solution. Hearing aids are often the best treatment. Although they aren’t able to completely restore a person’s hearing, they can greatly improve their ability to communicate. What solution the hearing care professional recommends is dependent on the individual’s specific needs, lifestyle, personal preferences, and their budget. Please feel free to contact us at 902-695-4327 if you have any questions.

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