When we have hearing loss, we can get the blame for most all breakdowns in communication. This can still occur when we wear hearing aids, except now the hearing aids will receive the blame when there is a breakdown in communication. For example:
Life before hearing aids:
Wife: Our guests will be here in 30 minutes (TV blaring in background).
Husband: (reading the newspaper) What did you say?
Wife: You are not listening! You always ignore me!
Life after hearing aids:
Wife: Our guests will be in 30 minutes (talking from another room).
Husband: What about a bird’s nest?
Wife: Are you wearing your hearing aids? Your hearing aids need a tune up!
Sound familiar? With hearing loss and hearing aid use, there are 5 key components for better communication. Hearing aids are #4 on the list!
The problems with the above scenarios: 1. The environment- TV is blaring in the background. 2. The speaker- talking from another room. 3. The speaker and the listener- wife did not get the husband’s attention first; he was in another world, reading the newspaper. The problems in the above situations are not “the hearing loss” and not “the hearing aids”. For the best communication:
Have a quiet environment. When possible, modify the surroundings.
Effective speaking strategies: get the listener’s attention first, be close to the listener and speak clearly.
Listening vs hearing. Listening takes effort and is intentional.
Technology: hearing aids, assistive listening devices, cochlear implants, etc. They must be in tip-top condition and used appropriately. See your Audiologist routinely.
Practice, practice, practice. The above steps must be used consistently to become new, healthy habits.
BLOG brought to you by: Dr. Adrianne Miller, Audiologist and Director of WTRC Audiology in San Angelo, TX
Reference: Frustrated by Hearing Loss? 5 Keys to Communication Success, 2014. Dusty Ann Jessen, AuD
Dr.Adrianne Miller, AuD., FAAA, CCC-A Doctor of Audiology