Communication is the most important factor in a successful and happy life. After all, man is a social creature. We must constantly interact with other people. The easiest way for it is through communication. But not all people can do this. Hearing-impaired people often lose the thread of conversation. Some do not hear only words, while others miss whole sentences. These problems reduce the quality of the conversation. Can people with hearing loss increase their comfort in communicating with others? Yes, hearing aids and sign language do a great job!
Does hearing loss affect communication?
Hearing loss is one of the most common hearing disorders. It can occur for a variety of reasons:
- Age-related changes
- Long-term noise exposure
- Hearing and head injuries
- Complications of infections
Despite the different reasons, they lead to the same result. It is a dramatic decrease in quality of life and new difficulties. The gradual decrease in hearing and the lack of appropriate treatment leads to further physiological (dizziness, falls) and psychological (e.g. depression) impairments. It is, therefore, important to recognize hearing loss and seek help early. Time is of the essence in restoring hearing. The earlier you start treatment, the better the results. Moreover, nowadays, it is easy to get your hearing tested. For example, an online hearing test can show the presence or absence of hearing loss at any time and place. A hearing loss won’t go away by itself. Only an audiologist can help with it. Otherwise, the consequences will be sad.
One of them is a deterioration in the quality of communication. For example, a hearing-impaired person only hears part of a conversation. It is easy to miss important details and not understand what is being said.
Hearing loss often leads to social isolation. The person may feel alienated from society, as they have difficulty participating in communicating with other people. By the way, this is the main reason for the development of depression.
Despite all the negative effects of hearing loss, various ways can help improve the quality of communication. The most effective and comfortable method of maintaining quality communication is through the use of hearing aids.
It’s also important to pay attention to the acoustic environment. For example, reducing noise in the home, at work, or in public places can help improve communication comfort for people with hearing loss. It is also important to communicate in clear, slow language to help them understand speech better. Remember about sign language too.
How can I use hearing aids to communicate comfortably?
Hearing aids are indispensable tools for people with hearing loss. They bring back an active and happy life filled with interesting conversations and comfortable communication. However, to communicate well, you must use your hearing aids correctly. How can you achieve the best possible result? Use the following tips!
Set up your hearing aids
A hearing aid fitting is a must in achieving the best possible result. Contact your hearing care professional to adjust your hearing aids to the optimal level. A proper adjustment will help improve sound quality and comfort.
Avoid noisy places
Noisy places can be a challenge for people with hearing problems. Avoid places with high noise levels, such as restaurants or concerts, if possible.
Make eye contact
Looking at the person you are talking to helps you understand speech better. It also helps focus on the speech and reduces the noise around you.
Feel free to communicate
Don’t hesitate to communicate and ask questions if you don’t understand something. People usually understand that you have a hearing problem and are willing to help.
When a person starts wearing hearing aids, they may feel the sounds have become too loud. Hearing aids amplify sounds that were previously inaudible. But as time passes, the user will get used to the new sounds, and the hearing aids become comfortable to use. The user now can hear and understand people better, which allows them to participate in the conversation.
“Hearing aids are not just about making sounds louder, but about making speech clearer and easier to understand in different listening situations.” – Dr. Brent Edwards, Audiologist and Director of the National Acoustics Laboratories in Australia
Wearing hearing aids has a positive impact on the comfort of communication. But for them to be truly comfortable, you need to choose the right model, wear it properly and take care of it!
What about sign language?
The use of hearing aids improves the quality and comfort of communication in any acoustic situation. Thanks to modern features and capabilities, you’ll hear your companion perfectly and forget about the problems of the past.
Sometimes, however, hearing aids are not enough. In these situations, verbal communication may not work. Doctors recommend using other methods of communication, such as sign language. Learn it to get the benefit of talking in any setting!
Sign language makes it easier to communicate in noisy places
Sign language is versatile, and it helps to communicate both in a silent and noisy environment, when it is difficult to hear the other party, for example, in a restaurant, in a crowded stadium, or at a loud party, where the loud music complicates attempts to communicate quietly in the usual way.
Communicate in unusual situations
Have you ever tried talking underwater or through a tightly closed window? You can simulate a lot of specific situations where communicating in sign language is much easier than speaking.
Keep your secrets
Because sign language is not widespread, it ensures the confidentiality of communication. Only the person you are talking to will understand you.
Sign language more easily overcomes the language barrier
Many words sound different in every language. But if you mimic the turning of a steering wheel with your hands, everyone will understand you Sign language is not universal either and has its national differences. For example, Austrian and German sign languages, despite the geographical and ethnic proximity of these countries, are two unrelated languages. Nevertheless, when we cannot explain ourselves verbally, we involuntarily start to gesture.
Body language focuses the interlocutor’s attention
When communicating in sign language, interlocutors are much more focused on the conversation. You won’t lose the thread of the conversation.
How can a hearing-impaired person improve the quality of communication? Use the methods you know, including hearing aids and sign language. That’s more than enough.