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:
- 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.