Do You Have a Hearing Loss?

Hearing Loss is an invisible disability and affects people of all ages. It is often left untreated until it has negatively impacted the lives of the hard-of-hearing and everyone around them. Approximately 3 million Canadians suffer from hearing loss, that's 1 out of 10 people!

Signs of Hearing Loss:

  • Difficulty understanding speech
  • Asking people to repeat themselves
  • Difficulty understanding women and children
  • Difficulty hearing on the phone
  • Favouring one ear
  • Ringing in one or both ears
  • Difficulty hearing in noise
  • Isolation, depression and irritability
  • Family and friends suspect hearing loss

If you have answered YES to 2 or more questions, you may have a hearing loss. Please consult with your local Hearing Instrument Practitioner for further advice. If you do not have one, please check out our "Find a Practitioner" page. It is important you speak to a Hearing Instrument Practitioner.

Untreated Hearing Loss can lead to:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Social Isolation
  • Relationship breakdown

Hearing aids can help an individual overcome some of these issues but he/she should also utilize other communication strategies to communicate more effectively. Here are some examples of communication strategies both from a speaker and a listener's perspective.

As a speaker communicating with a Hard-of-Hearing individual you should:

  • Ensure that the Hard-of-Hearing person is facing you
  • If the speaker is a male, please ensure that your beard or mustache is clean-shaven above and below the lips. Otherwise it will disrupt the lip-reading patterns
  • If the speaker is a female, please ensure that lipsticks used are not bright and shiny as it also disrupts lip-reading patterns
  • Please keep hands or objects away from the lips or face
  • Do not shout! Speak clearly and slowly
  • Do not repeat. Kindly rephrase your comments or questions
  • Check the lighting in the room. If it is dim, the hard-of-hearing person will have great difficulty understanding you
  • Move to a quiet area of the room if background noise is present
  • If you are in a restaurant with a Hard-of-Hearing person, ask for seating near a window for better lighting and away from the kitchen or any loud noise sources

As a Hard-of-Hearing individual, you should:

  • Ensure that you are facing the speaker
  • Be assertive! Notify the speaker of your hearing loss and request that the speaker speaks clearly and slowly
  • Reduce the distance between you and the speaker
  • Ensure good lighting in the room

There are a variety of hearing aid styles to choose from:

Please consult with a Hearing Instrument Practitioner for more information.