How To Love Someone With Hearing Loss

Do you love someone with hearing loss? With almost 50 million Americans and 360 million people worldwide with disabling hearing loss, chances are that you do. Supporting them can be confusing — you may not fully understand the challenges they face as someone with hearing loss, or they may not want to discuss it or ask for help. Even if they deny it, deep down they still want your love and support.

Loving someone with hearing loss requires work — there are conversation best practices to incorporate, hearing loss exhaustion to work around and loud venues to avoid. There are bouts of frustration and sadness to support people through, and ongoing education about new hearing aid and assistive listening device technologies to learn. It can require extra effort, but when you love somebody, it is worth it.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog Continue reading

Does Hearing Loss Make It Harder to Learn New Words?

Defenestration is the act of throwing someone or something out of a window. I never heard this word before, but apparently my teenage daughter knows it well, having used it an essay she recently wrote and asked me to read.

“What is defenestration?” I asked her. Until then, I was not aware that throwing someone out the window had sparked two horrible wars two hundred years apart in the early days of Bohemia or that the word came from the Latin de- (out of or away from) and fenestra (window or opening). Thank you to my daughter and Wikipedia for this enlightening information.

I loved this fun new word, but I couldn’t remember it the next day. Or the next. Even when I repeated it aloud to myself numerous times, the word escaped my memory hours later. I know that my hearing loss sometimes makes it harder for me to remember new information (see my post on this here), but did it also make it harder to learn new words? Apparently so.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

Two Recent Movies Demonstrate the Power of Our Differences

I am a big fan of post-apocalyptic stories, things like The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Seveneves. These wild adventures get both my adrenaline pumping and my imagination flowing. So when two new movies in this genre hit the scene recently, I was eager to watch them. Both were entertaining and scary, as I expected, but they also made me think about the importance and power of our individual differences, even our disabilities, to the future of us all.

If you are a fan of the genre, check them out and see if you agree.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading

Hearing Loss: Thank You For Using The Microphone

My latest article for Hearing Tracker discusses the reasons to use a microphone in all meetings. Do you agree? 

We gathered in a medium-sized classroom for the wrap-up session of my two-day board meeting at my alma mater. Most sessions were in larger spaces, with presenters using a lectern at the front of a well-miked room. The event organizers always saved me a seat at the front with good sight-lines to the speakers so I could lipread as needed. I really appreciated their assistance and was able to hear almost everything. Given the high level of concentration needed, my hearing loss exhaustion usually kicked in by the end of the day, but it was worth it.

The wrap-up session was different — more casual, smaller, and in a different type of space — a classroom rather than a typical lecture hall. The leaders used a microphone, but a second mic was not provided for questions or comments from the audience. This made it much harder to follow the discussion.

Even strong leaders overlook top-notch communication in certain settings. That is why it is critical to educate people about the importance of using a microphone for all meetings, even when the gathering seems too small or too casual for the formality and fuss of a mic. Inclusion should never be sacrificed for the sake of ease.

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

For a captioned video and more reasons to use a microphone, continue reading on Hearing Tracker.

Continue reading

Don’t Get Trapped in A Hearing Aid Only Approach

Today I share the fourth article in a series I am writing for Ida Institute on person-centered care. The first article was about what person-centered care means to me — the hearing loss patient. The second article discussed why partnering with your patient is so important. The third article described how to make your audiologist office hearing loss friendly. This fourth article talks about how important creativity is to successfully implementing person-centered care. I look forward to sharing the final article with you soon. 

Below find an excerpt from the fourth article. To read the full article, click here

Living With Hearing Loss | A Hearing Loss Blog

Continue reading