Hearing Loss: Make Valentine’s Day Messages Count!

Hearing Loss: Make Valentine’s Day Messages Count!

This year, make your Valentine’s Day messages count for those among your friends and loved ones with hearing loss. Remember that their biggest issue is understanding speech in background noise. Yet, just like anybody else, they delight in being told that they are loved and appreciated.

Having to ask over and over what was just said, is tiring, isolating and takes the fun out of things. So, in order make a conversation enjoyable for a hearing-challenged person, let’s review some of the communication basics.

  • Even hearing aids have their limits in a noise-confused environment. For this special day, chose a quiet place when visiting or delivering treats.
  • Before engaging in a conversation, get the person’s full attention.
  • Face your partner and maintain that face-to-face contact. Out-of-sight means out-of-earshot, no matter how physically close one might be. This is why speaking to a hearing-challenged person through walls and doors or while standing behind him/her does not work.
  • Speak calmly and distinctly at a voice level and pace that are comfortable for the other person. Louder is not necessarily better. In fact, it makes things worse.
  • Take turns talking—one at a time! Do not interrupt. People with hearing loss are not good at “word wars,” jumping in and out of conversations. Finish your own sentences and allow your hard-of-hearing friend to finish his/hers.
  • Facilitate speech-reading or lipreading. Everybody does a bit of this, but for those with hearing loss it is an important communication tool. Talking while chewing, laughing or making all sorts of head movements make it impossible to speech-read (lipread).

So, let your spoken words of love and caring hit the mark. Don’t let carefully crafted messages get lost among communication glitches, thus turning them into nothings—no matter how sweet they were intended to be.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

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To learn about ears and hearing, please see my book on hearing loss: What Did You Say? An Unexpected Journey into the World of Hearing Loss, now in its second updated edition. Sharing my story and what I had to learn the hard way.

For industry Safety training or presentations on Noise-induced Hearing Loss prevention, please see my website: http://www.moniquehammond.com  Or email [email protected]

 

 

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