Tips for Better Communication with Hearing Loss

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.Uncategorized

Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.

Dr. Maria Wynens is known in the Atlanta area as the “audiologist in cowboy boots” – but she would prefer patients remember her as the Doctor that is here for them today, helping them hear tomorrow. For more than 28 years Dr. Wynens, the Atlanta Hearing Doctor, has been pursuing her passion of improving people’s lives one ear at a time.
Dr. Maria Wynens, Au.D.

TWe’ve all heard it touted, “Communication is key.” We understand that communication is important in our lives and important for our happiness. In fact, the largest and most comprehensive study of emotional well-being in history has discovered that the most imperative aspect of living a healthier and happier life is good, solid, relationships. The study began way back in 1938 when subjects were just babies, and followed them throughout their life. The scientists periodically collected data in the form of interviews, questionnaires, brain scans, and medical data.

The results have been quite definitive. “When we gathered together everything we knew about [these participants] at age 50, it wasn’t their middle-age cholesterol levels that predicted how they were going to grow old”, said Robert Waldinger, lead researcher of the study. Instead, “It was how satisfied they were in their relationships. The people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the healthiest at age 80.” (https://www.inc.com/justin-bariso/an-80-year-harvard-study-says-this-1-thing-will-make-you-happier-healthier.html).

“Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”

How Do we Foster These Relationships?

One of the best ways to foster relationships that will help us live happier and healthier is to have solid communication. Meaningful conversations that build trust and allow us to be our authentic selves are essential to building healthy relationships and lasting happiness.

Tips for Better Communication With Hearing Loss

With hearing loss, communication can become even more difficult. That is why it is important to understand some basic strategies that can be implemented today to help you better communicate – despite your hearing loss.

  1. Disclose your hearing loss. This one makes some people feel very uncomfortable. Many people go to great lengths to hide their hearing loss from the world around them. It can feel vulnerable to tell those around you that you experience hearing loss. Hiding your hearing loss and pretending to hear does not help anyone. It will lead to you feeling isolated and lonely, and those around you feeling that you are not listening or are not interested in what they are saying. It’ll take practice and time to uncover that people not only will not judge you for your hearing loss, but they will be very happy and open to accommodating you once they are aware of your hearing loss.
  2. Stay close. It’ll be the easiest for you to hear what your communication partner is saying when you are closer to him or her. Avoid conversations from across the room as much as possible. When you can, move closer to the person you are speaking with or motion for them to come closer to you.
  3. Use your strengths. Many people with hearing loss have one ear that is better at perceiving and understanding speech than the other. If this is the case for you, use your “good ear” to your advantage! Whether at work meetings or the family dinner table, position yourself so that your communication partner(s) are on the side of your good ear. If you are at a larger gathering, ask a good friend to sit on the side of your good ear to help fill in any gaps in conversation you may have missed.
  4. Keep calm, and have a sense of humor. It is inevitable that you will experience a silly miscommunication here and there with hearing loss. When this happens, it is important to remember to stay calm, have a sense of humor, and remember to use the strategies and resources you have available to help you better communicate.
  5. Get your hearing tested. This one is huge. If you are attempting to form and maintain meaningful communication with untreated hearing loss, you are certainly facing an uphill battle. Hearing loss is most often permanent, and gets worse over time. Hearing aids are one of the best-known interventions to help people with hearing loss enjoy more effortless and enjoyable conversations. When you can properly hear the people you are talking to, it is no wonder that you will be able to more authentically connect with them and truly communicate. Modern hearing aids are extremely powerful, and come equipped with some pretty impressive technology that was crafted for the specific purpose of making communicating easier and better.

Visit Us at Atlanta Hearing Doctor

There’s no reason to live with untreated hearing loss! Seeking treatment has been proven to improve many different facts of your overall health and well-being. Contact us at Atlanta Hearing Doctor today to schedule a consultation.