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How To Support Someone With Hearing Aids

Hearing loss can go undetected for years. It can be so gradual that the person suffering from it barely notices the decline. Often, it becomes more noticeable to family and friends. Certain give away signs include:

  • The TV volume always seeming to be abnormally loud.
  • You have to regularly repeat what’s being said.
  • the person doesn't respond unless they are facing you.
  • You’re accused of mumbling and asked to speak up.
  • Storylines aren’t followed in the cinema or at the theatre.
  • the person may start avoiding socialising in noisy environments.

If this is the case, there may well be a hearing loss issue that needs addressing. In an era where hearing technology has become more and more sophisticated, connecting up to the hearing world can be a life enhancing experience.

Tips on how to help those wearing a hearing aid

Unfortunately, hearing aids can’t completely restore hearing. They enhance sound arriving in the ear and boost the volume allowing the person to hearing sounds they couldn't before. There are however, some simple ways in which you can make the process of listening just that little bit easier.

Face-to-face conversations are ideal

Not only will your facial expressions and body language help express what you’re saying, but your lips will also enable the listener to piece together what their hearing misses.

Draw attention to yourself

Make sure they’re looking at you before you launch into conversation. Addressing someone’s back and expecting them to hear is unlikely to work.

Speak clearly

If you want to put your message across, you need to speak plainly, don’t garble at breakneck speed or hide your mouth with your hands.

Avoid noisy environments

Being heard in a packed room full of noise and clatter is hard at the best of times, and some types of behind the ear hearing aids do not have directional microphones, making it harder for the person to hear someone speaking in front of them. If you have an opportunity, a quieter space would make an easier listening environment to conduct a conversation.

Be patient

It’s not easy differentiating between sounds and identifying speech. You can’t rush these things.

What causes hearing loss and how does a hearing aid work?

Hearing aids are designed to help improve hearing and capture speech for those who suffer from hearing loss. Although they can’t ‘cure’ the problem and provide perfect hearing again, they can go a long way to lessen the effects. The loss of hearing is usually caused by the damage of small hair cells in your inner ear, this is called Sensorineural Hearing Loss. The cause behind such damage can vary widely from injury, destructive levels of noise, certain medicines, illness or the aging process.

A hearing aid operates by magnifying the sound vibrations that enter the ear. It works in tandem with what remains of any functioning hair cells. These in turn, transmit messages to the brain. In most cases, the fewer operational hair cells, the greater the amplification needed on the hearing aid. Even so, there is a limit as to how much amplification can be used. In severe cases, where there are no working hair cells left in the inner ear, there is no way for those messages to reach the brain. In such circumstances, a hearing aid won’t work and other options will have to be explored.

The following may be of interest

Hearing Loss and Relationships

Muffled hearing: Causes, symptoms and treatment

Types of Hearing Aids

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