There are many reasons why a person can start to lose their hearing. Some are hereditary and can even begin at birth. Others are from frequent exposure to loud noise, head injuries, heart attacks or strokes or bacterial or viral infections.

Unfortunately, once the cilia and auditory nerve are damaged, they cannot be repaired. However, there are some ways to repair sensorineural hearing loss through the use of cochlear implants and hearing aids. There are many different products on the market designed for different hearing needs. There are also accessories such as cases, hearing aid dryers and other items. You can go online to read hearing aid dryer reviews and other information about specific products and accessories which can help. There’s no guarantee that implants or hearing aids will entirely reverse hearing loss, but they can improve the situation for many people.

 

Living with a hearing impairment can be challenging. Here are a few ways that we can help to ease the struggles of a hearing impaired person:

1. Be a good listener.

One of the most important things you can do for a hearing impaired person is to listen to them. They may have difficulty communicating. They may also be dealing with a wide variety of emotions that are sometimes difficult for them to express. Take the time to be a good listener for the hearing impaired person in your life. Keep a positive attitude and have some empathy for what they’re going through. Stay calm if they get angry, especially if you’ve asked them to repeat something that you didn’t understand. Maintain good eye contact with them, and make sure to smile whenever you can. Knowing that you care can help ease their tensions and help them become more comfortable.

If they are having problems, don’t get frustrated with them. Instead, look at them calmly and let them continue. They may get flustered or feel like you don’t understand what you have to say. If you are having difficulties throughout the conversation, you can ask them to repeat or rephrase what they said. If that doesn’t work, you can write out your question and have them write their response back to you. Reply with a smile or a laugh to make sure that the person knows that you appreciate what they have to say. It’s a little gesture that can sometimes mean a lot.

2. Be a good communicator.

You should also practice your own communication skills when dealing with a hearing impaired person. Say the person’s name before starting a conversation. Take time to enunciate your words clearly. Speak clearly and evenly. If the hearing impaired person didn’t understand something that you said, rephrase what you said and keep things simple. Use smaller words instead of longer, more complex words whenever possible. If you have to use a longer, more complicated word, you may want to spell out that word. Keep your mouth uncovered so the person can lip read if necessary. If you’re changing the subject, tell the hearing impaired person what you are doing so they understand the context of your words. Add pauses to give the listener time to process what you’ve just said.

Turn off the radio, TV or anything else that makes noise which could be considered disruptive. Some people who have experienced hearing loss are especially sensitive to loud sounds, so you should do your best to avoid any situations where they may be exposed to loud or repeated noise. Make sure the room has proper lighting so that the other person can clearly make out your lip and facial movements and any hand gestures that you may make. You should never talk to them from another room. Too much meaning can be lost. Allow some extra time for them if they are tired or just not feeling well. If there’s a language barrier or other issues, there are language apps you can download that can make things easier. Some of them translate spoken words into text and vice versa. Texting is another solution.

3. Be an advocate for them.

Another way to support people with hearing loss is to be an advocate for them. If you are at a party or social gathering that is noisy, you can ask them to lower down their voice. Too many people talking at once can be rather distracting. If the hearing impaired person misses parts of a story or joke, sit next to them and fill them in on the details. You can also ask if local restaurants, hotels and other businesses offer services for hearing impaired people. If they don’t, you can make some helpful suggestions based on the needs that you’ve experienced with the hearing impaired person in your life.

4. Educate others.

Another way that you can help the hearing impaired person in your life is by educating other family members and friends. Take the time to sit down with them and explain what they need to do in order to communicate with them effectively. Be prepared to answer any questions or concerns they may have. Explain to them that you are discussing this with them because you want the hearing impaired person to be able to have a good conversation with them and not feel like their disability is a burden or hindrance. Most people will understand and appreciate the advice you give them. After all, they want that person to feel at ease. Whatever insight and advice you give them can help them to create better relationships with the hearing impaired person.

These are just some ways to help the hearing impaired people in your life. A disability is not a life sentence. It just means that they are differently abled. They can still live a healthy, active life and be involved in all kinds of social settings. Taking a few precautions to consider their needs and making appropriate accommodations for them can help to ease their struggles and feel just as important and valued as everyone else.

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