How to talk to someone with hearing loss

Support system

There are different ways to help someone you care for realize that they are experiencing some degree of hearing loss. Raising the initial question can be tricky, as it could be met with mixed reactions.
Reluctance is common but your support is vital and in the long run, it will be worth it.

Start the conversation

Listen, help, repeat.

Here are some useful tips to start the conversation:

1. Choose the right location
Choose a location which is private, comfortable and free from background noise.

2. Speak clearly
Make sure they can see your face, and speak clearly.

3. Show compassion
It’s common for someone to deny their hearing loss. It’s helpful to discuss how advances in technology have changed the way hearing aids look and perform.

4. Share how their hearing loss impacts you
The spouse or family of someone with hearing loss usually has to take the role of the voice in group conversations. Another factor is the element of danger as the person affected might not hear a cry for help. Explaining these and other scenarios can shed light on the topic and help in encouraging your loved one to take the relevant steps to better hearing.

5.Communicate the urgency of treating hearing loss
There are numerous documented cases resulting from hearing loss. Some people become socially reclusive and avoid going out due to difficulties interacting with others in challenging listening situations. Other cases have included depression or a decline in cognitive functions. Just like exercise, hearing keeps your brain energized, hence it’s of utmost importance to support a friend or family member overcome personal obstacles related to hearing loss.

Be a partner in the process. Travel the journey and discover sounds together.

I am so glad I brought it up — our relationship changed significantly.

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