Hearing loss in the family:
Tips and support for relatives
Hearing loss does not only affect the person suffering from hearing loss. Family members, friends and the entire environment feel the effects and face the challenge of dealing with this situation. What does it mean when someone in your circle suddenly hears less? How does everyday life change? And how can you support and help as a relative or friend?
Understanding hearing loss: causes and consequences
Hearing loss can have several causes: Age-related hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, hearing loss due to infections, noise, or even a problem in the inner ear, such as a disorder of the cochlea or auditory nerve. There are also cases where the middle ear is affected. Doctors or hearing care professionals can determine the exact cause and suggest appropriate treatment.
The consequences of hearing loss are varied and depend on the degree of hearing loss. Communication problems may occur, and the affected person may withdraw from social life. The brain is also affected, as it receives less information through the ears.
How do I recognize hearing loss?
Recognizing hearing loss can be challenging because symptoms often occur gradually and are easily overlooked. Here are some common signs that indicate you or someone you know may be hearing impaired.
Constantly asking questions in conversation:
People who suffer from hearing loss tend to constantly ask questions during conversations. This is because they have difficulty understanding certain words or phrases. They may also misunderstand words or phrases and answer something incoherent.
Increased volume when watching TV or listening to the radio:
A significant increase in the volume of the television, radio or music can be an indicator of hearing loss. If you or others in your household notice that the volume is getting louder, this could indicate a hearing problem.
Difficulty understanding conversations in noisy environments:
People with hearing loss often have difficulty understanding conversations in noisy environments such as restaurants, cafes or at gatherings. They have trouble distinguishing certain voices or sounds from background noise.
Absence of response to sounds or tones:
If you or someone around you does not respond to loud sounds or tones, this could be a sign of hearing loss. For example, a person with hearing loss might have difficulty hearing an alarm clock, telephone, or doorbell.
Tips for dealing with hearing impaired people in everyday life
To make it easier to cope with hearing loss in everyday life, there are a number of strategies that can both improve communication and enhance quality of life:
- Speak slowly and clearly: Try to speak at a natural pace and articulate your words clearly. While it is important to speak loudly enough, shouting is not helpful as it changes the sound quality and can make it more difficult to understand. Instead, try modulating the tone of your voice to allow for better understanding.
- Look at the person when speaking: Nonverbal communication plays an important role in sharing information. Look directly at the person when you speak to them. Facial expressions, body posture, and lip movements can help the other person better understand the words being spoken.
- Reduce background noise: Background noise can make it much more difficult to understand conversations, especially for people with hearing loss. Try to make the environment as quiet as possible, for example, by reducing the volume of the TV or music or turning it off while you are talking.
- Be patient and empathetic: It can be frustrating for people with hearing loss if they have difficulty following others or understanding what is being said. Show understanding and patience, and reassure them that they can take time to understand and respond.
Hearing aids and hearing aids
In addition, there are a variety of aids and technologies that support people with hearing loss in their daily lives. Hearing a ids and other assistive listening devices can improve the hearing of people with hearing loss. There are several types of hearing aids, including implants that are placed directly in the ear. In some cases, a cochlear implant may also be the solution. A hearing healthcare professional can help you choose the appropriate device.
In addition to hearing aids, there are also other aids and adaptations that can make everyday life easier. Think, for example, of special telephones that increase the volume or TV sound amplifiers such as the OSKAR from faller audio. The portable TV loudspeaker with unique dialog amplification was specially developed for the hearing impaired and helps to make the TV experience more enjoyable and easier to understand.
How can I support as a family member or friend?
Hearing loss is challenging, but with the right support and assistive devices, the affected person can continue to live a full life. As a family member or friend, you are part of this support. With understanding, patience and the right tips, you can help make everyday life easier and improve the quality of life. You can:
- Show understanding and patience
- Offer help with the selection of hearing aids
- Accompany the person when they go to the doctor or acoustician for a hearing test
- Provide shared activities where hearing is less important, such as walking or painting
- Find out more about hearing aids such as the OSKAR TV hearing amplifier from faller audio