July 11, 2022

Tips for Living with Hearing Impaired Family Members

by Psych Times Staff

Hard-of-hearing family members often face several difficulties in everyday life. For example, they may find it challenging to communicate with other people and experience problems following conversations or understanding speech. This blog post will provide you with some tips on how to live more comfortably and happily with hard-of-hearing family members, as well as information about the types of hearing loss that are most common among adults.

Speak Up

Avoid speaking too quickly or quietly. When you talk, enunciate your words clearly and don’t talk over each other. Keep the television volume down if people are having a conversation nearby. If necessary, wear earplugs to block out loud noises that may be too much for your family member to handle.

Understanding The Different Types Of Hearing Loss

Hearing impairment can take many forms, and it’s essential to know which type of condition has been diagnosed to treat the symptoms accordingly. Three types of situations frequently affect older people who have trouble understanding speech and participating in conversations: sensorineural hearing loss, conductive hearing loss, and mixed hearing loss.

Sensorineural hearing loss is the most common type of adult-onset hearing impairment, accounting for around 90% of all cases. This condition occurs when damage to the inner ear or the auditory nerve, resulting in permanent hearing loss. Sensorineural impairment is generally age-related, which means that it will only get worse with time.

Conductive hearing loss occurs when there’s an issue preventing sound waves from reaching the inner ear, such as wax build-up or fluid accumulation in the middle ear. This may be due to infection of some kind and is typically treatable with medication or surgery.

Mixed hearing loss is a condition that occurs when someone has both sensorineural and conductive hearing losses at the same time. 

This can make diagnosis and treatment more complicated, as it may be challenging to determine which type of hearing impairment is causing the most problems.

How To Communicate

Learn how to communicate with your loved one. This includes learning sign language, lip-reading, and understanding different types of hearing loss. It is also crucial that you speak clearly and at an average volume—not too loudly or softly. If your loved one wears hearing aids or a cochlear implant, be sure to adjust the settings so that they can hear you best. You may want to ask a hearing specialist for assistance. If hearing aids and cochlear implants aren’t enough, you can always use a hearing loop. A hearing loop is an infrared hearing system that transmits sound via a wire around the room or area.

What You Can Do To Be More Involved

It’s essential to be involved in your loved one’s life. Unfortunately, when hearing-impaired individuals feel isolated, they are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help them by ensuring that their hearing aid is programmed correctly and communicating with them about any changes in the program settings. Contact your Audiologist to get hearing aid programming tips.

Regularly check your loved one’s hearing aids for damage or dirtiness. If you find something wrong, make sure to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Be sure to keep your loved one’s hearing aids clean and dry. To do this, you can use a hearing aid dehumidifier or a hearing aid cleaner.

How To Have Fun With Your Loved One

Hearing-impaired family members love spending time with their loved ones just as much as anyone else does! However, your activities must be catered towards the hearing impairment of your loved one. Here are some fun ideas for spending time together:

Attend a live theatre performance. Many theatres have open captioning or sign language interpreters available upon request.

Watch a movie together. Pick one with captions or subtitles to make sure everyone can follow along.

Take a walk in the park, go for a bike ride, or take a scenic drive. These activities are all great opportunities to chat and catch up on life.

Visit an amusement park, zoo, or aquarium. There’s plenty to see and do at these attractions, and many of them offer discounted rates for those with disabilities.

Eliminate Background Noise

One of the best ways to help your are hard of hearing family member is by eliminating background noise as much as possible. Noise from appliances, the TV, and even people talking can make listening to what is being said. Try to have conversations in a quiet place with minimal background noise.

Don’t Be Afraid To Rephrase Sentences

It can be very frustrating when trying to communicate something, but your loved one doesn’t understand because they cannot hear what you said fully or correctly, not even in the best circumstances!

Face Them When Speaking

This will help them better understand what you are saying. It is also essential to make sure you look at them when they speak to you. This will show that you are paying attention and interested in what they say.

It can be difficult for someone hard of hearing to follow a conversation when people aren’t facing each other.

In conclusion, be patient and understanding. Remember that they are doing the best they can. Try to communicate in a way that is easy for them to understand, such as speaking slowly and using facial expressions and gestures or writing down what you want to say.


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