The first place is to start with ourselves. We cannot expect others to understand our hearing loss and help us appropriately if we do not understand and/or help ourselves. When we are well equipped with these personal strategies, others can help us appropriately and the result is positive communication.

  1. Be knowledgeable:
    Understand your hearing loss:
    • be able to explain the type of loss (eg, high frequency) you have and its severity.
    • have your audiogram explained to you and be able to describe the implications of your hearing loss.
    • recognize that it is not a temporary problem; hearing loss is here to stay.
  2. Be realistic:
    • know your strengths; use them to your advantage
    • know your weaknesses
    • where do you set your boundaries (eg size of group, time of day, off-limit locations.
  3. Keep a positive attitude about your hearing loss. This takes time and effort!
    • read about hearing loss
    • accept your disability.
    • seek counsel if necessary
    • seek support from friends and family
    • listen to and learn from the successes of other HOH persons.
    • use your disability for good
    • try humour as a stress reliever.
  4. Keep a positive attitude toward others:
    • give others grace in their forgetfulness and misunderstanding.
    • show your desire to make things easier for the speaker
    • don’t assume the speaker doesn’t want to repeat for you.
  5. Be patient with yourself and with others

Author: Flo Spratt