Explaining Hearing Loss to Your Loved Ones

hearing loss patient holding hand to ear expressively

If you have started to experience hearing loss, then there will come a time when you have to explain to the people that you love what is going on. Your friends and family may have already noticed that you find it more difficult to hear things, perhaps it’s harder to keep up with conversations or you often ask people to repeat themselves.

This conversation can be a constructive and healthy one, and you can help people to understand what hearing loss is and how it affects you.

What is Hearing Loss?

Before you can explain something to someone else, you need to understand for yourself what it is. Even someone who is experiencing hearing loss might not fully understand the mechanics of hearing loss or why it’s happening. 

There are two primary types of hearing loss. The most common type is called sensorineural hearing loss. This is caused by damage to the inner ear. This damage may be the result of exposure to loud noises, diseases, injuries, or simply the natural aging process. This type of hearing loss is permanent and usually happens gradually, getting more severe over time.

Conductive hearing loss occurs in the outer or middle ear and is often temporary. The most common causes of this type of hearing loss are blockages, such as those caused by a buildup of wax or a foreign object in the ear canal. Conductive hearing loss can also be caused by infections and other medical issues.

Finally, some people can have a combination of these two types. It’s common for someone who has lost some of their hearing due to aging to also have a buildup of wax, which compounds the problem. 

The Benefits of Communication

So, why explain hearing loss to the people you communicate with? If you and your loved ones are all on the same page and understand the issue, then you can work together to deal with it. Some of the symptoms of hearing loss can impact relationships because it’s more difficult to keep up with conversations and you may enjoy social events less. It can be frustrating for both the person experiencing hearing loss and those that they converse with.

However, communication can help people to understand. There may be some way that they can help. For example, people could consciously speak slower and louder if they know that it’s more difficult to hear the conversation. You can feel more comfortable asking people to repeat themselves. 

If you don’t have hearing loss but you think that a loved one is experiencing it, then an explanation may encourage them to get help. A hearing instrument special11111111111111111111ist can provide equipment to improve hearing or to protect it and stop further deterioration.

Explaining Hearing Instruments

If you or a loved one is considering wearing a hearing aid, it’s helpful to understand what hearing aids are and how they work. Some hearing aids are more or less appropriate for your situation. A hearing instrument specialist can help you to find the best option.

A hearing aid usually works in three steps. First, a microphone will pick up nearby sounds. Second, these sounds will be sent to an amplifier that will increase the power of the signals. Finally, a speaker will play those sounds back to you, but more loudly so that you can hear them.

There are three primary types of hearing aids, each with different pros and cons. These are:

  • In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids that sit in the ear canal. These hearing aids are usually custom-fit and can blend in very well with the rest of the ear, making them inconspicuous. 
  • In-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids sit in the outer ear bowl of the ear canal. They’re slightly larger, which means that they have longer battery life and can accommodate a wider range of hearing losses. They are still discreet and are comfortable and easy to use.
  • Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids sit behind or atop the outer ear. The sound is then carried into the ear canal by tubing. BTE hearing aids are more obvious, but they’re available in different colors and some BTE hearing aids can carry rechargeable batteries.

A hearing instrument specialist can explain your hearing loss and your hearing aid in more detail. Byron’s Hudson Valley Hearing Aid Centers can provide you with the best solutions and explanations to help you and your loved ones to adjust to hearing loss. 

Learn more about how Byron’s Hudson Valley Hearing Aid Centers and how they can help you by contacting these numbers, 845-481-9267, 845-232-2147, and 845-481-9266.