How to be an Ally to Someone with Hearing Loss

It can be extremely difficult to sit on the sidelines and watch as a friend or loved one suffers from the side effects of hearing loss.

Broaching the topic can be difficult as well as there is still a stigma around hearing loss much like there was around wearing glasses at one point.

Today’s blog will be about helping those with hearing loss in a thoughtful, sensitive way.

How to Help Someone with Hearing Loss

Share Helpful Information on Hearing Loss

Help raise awareness on social media. 

Follow hearing loss resources like Vibe Hearing on Facebook and share the posts to help spread the word about hearing loss and help remove the stigma.

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As Nicholas Christakis stated during a TED talk, social networks are the key to spreading information that can be for the good of others. He notes that they are “ are required for the spread of good and valuable things, like love and kindness and happiness and altruism and ideas…[they] are fundamentally related to goodness”.

Start a Conversation About Hearing Loss

Sometimes the most important first step is to just check in to see how they are doing. 

Hearing loss can be an extremely isolating condition that makes one feel cut off from the world around them. 

Simply asking how they’re doing can be extremely meaningful.

Learn How to Communicate Better with Someone Who Has Hearing Loss

Ensure you Have Their Attention Before Speaking

Before you begin speaking, it can be helpful to double-check that you have their attention before you begin speaking. That way, they won’t miss the first part of what you’re saying or not realize you are speaking to them.

Eliminate Background Noise if Possible

Even the best hearing assistance devices can’t compete with overwhelming background noise. “Try not to talk to an individual when there are competing noises” writes the American Academy of Audiology, and if possible, “Isolate you and the individual with the hearing loss so that the least amount of background noise is present.” 

Talk to Them Face to Face

While a lot of what we communicate may be in words, there is still a lot one can pick up from being able to read expressions and gestures we do naturally while speaking. 

Likewise, facing the person you’re speaking to that has hearing loss gives them the opportunity to lipread and be able to catch the words that they miss. If they have hearing loss on one side, focus on speaking toward their better ear or side.

Rephrase Rather than Repeat

“If an individual with a hearing loss did not understand what you said, rephrase, rather than repeat, what you said.” writes the AAA, “This will give the individual a better chance of understanding if he/she was struggling with one or two specific words.”

Take Our Online Hearing Test Yourself (and suggest others do so too)

Hearing loss affects people of all ages—not just senior citizens. 

Sometimes it may be subtle enough that you may barely notice. 

Try our free online hearing test yourself and suggest others do the same.

Suggest They See an Audiologist

This is one step that must be handled delicately. 

Like we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of myths and stigmas around hearing loss.

Many people go years dealing with hearing loss before seeking out help. If the person in your life that has hearing loss seems open to the idea, suggest they find a certified audiologist near them to explore ways to help treat their hearing loss with a hearing device.

Conclusion

Most people experiencing mild to moderate hearing loss are not using a hearing device. Vibe Hearing wants to work with you to change that.

Find out more information about Vibe Air by clicking here.

 

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