Technology takes care of so many things for us today, it’s often difficult to realize that it occasionally needs a little assistance from us to work effectively. Smartphones are only intelligent when their battery is charged. Your car’s GPS gives you great directions, as long as you enter the destination information correctly. Hearing aids can amplify sound, but they can’t teach others how to effectively communicate with you.
Speak up if you can’t hear
Just because you wear hearing aids doesn’t mean you’ll be able to hear everything someone says to you. Teenagers have a bad habit of mumbling and covering their mouth or hiding their face when they speak. Family members take short cuts by shouting questions from another room. And some people talk so fast, it’s difficult to follow what they say.
Asking for people to repeat themselves is much better than responding to what you think they said. If they don’t know you can’t hear well, they might think you weren’t listening well, even though you’re smiling and nodding in agreement.
Ask people to get your attention before they speak
...especially if they’re speaking directly to you. If your back is turned when they begin giving instructions or making a request, you may miss important details. If you don’t respond, they may think you’re ignoring them.
Explain that you’ll hear much better if they get your attention by tapping you on the shoulder or making eye contact before they begin to speak.
Ask people to look at you when they speak
Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, you may still do a little lip reading during conversations. That’s okay. Even if you don’t, voices project much better when someone is facing you directly than when their head is turned -- or when they’re whizzing past you in a hurry to get somewhere else.
While we’re on the subject, you might also explain there’s no reason for them to shout. Your hearing devices make the necessary amplifications, and shouting may actually serve only to distort sound. You just need the extra visual help facial expressions, eye contact and lip reading bring to the conversation.
Tell others what you need
Contrary to what your internet news feed might suggest, modern science is still light years away from actually reading your mind. All kidding aside, instead of leaving things to chance, practice politely asking for accommodations which put you in the best listening environment for your hearing loss. This might include:
Model good hearing health
You already know how important it is to schedule regular appointments with your hearing healthcare professional. As such, sharing your personal journey as you advocate for effective communication is a perfect way to encourage loved ones to practice good hearing health care, too.
Contributed by Debbie Clason, staff writer, Healthy Hearing
May 30, 2017
By Jerry Zhou, Hearing of America
Most people know that you should visit your primary care physician once a year for a physical exam. Dentists recommend that you get your teeth cleaned twice a year and a full routine exam once a year. If you wear glasses, you get your vision tested at least every two years to see if you need adjustments to your prescription.
But do you know how often you should get a hearing test?
To start with, you must understand the difference between a hearing screening and a hearing test. Screenings detect your ability to hear certain sounds in certain situations. The purpose is to identify if there is possible hearing loss. They are generally a pass or fail type of exam. If you pass, it is presumed you have no hearing loss. If you fail, further in-depth testing is necessary to assess the level and type of hearing loss present.
Children have their hearing screened when they are born. Toddlers should have their hearing screened at the age of two or three. School kids are screened every year.
However, between age of 18 and 50, a hearing screening should also be part of your annual physical every three to five years. Because hearing loss often occurs gradually, it can be difficult to recognize when you have it. This is why it’s so important to have screenings performed or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist or a hearing specialist to establish a baseline hearing exam. After the age of 50, an annual hearing check should be in your routine healthcare checklist.
If you notice it is hard to understand conversations in noisy environments or if you catch yourself asking people to repeat themselves, you might have some level of hearing loss. If family members complain that you listen to the radio or TV too loud, that is a clear sign of hearing loss. It’s common for people to live with hearing loss for several years before they do anything about it, but that’s not good for your quality of life.
If you think you might have hearing loss, it’s important to seek treatment right away. Schedule a hearing test appointment with a hearing specialist near you and take control of your hearing health. The easiest way of finding a clinic that offers a free hearing test is to do an internet search for: <BF>hearing test near me<M>, and choose the place that is trustworthy with a five-star rating and helpful customer reviews.