Visual Analogy for Hearing Loss

If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, it is very important to remember that communication will only become more effective and successful with the use of a hearing aid (that’s why ‘aid’ is in the name).

When we experience damage in our ears, the way we hear words is different from someone without hearing loss. As an analogy, having ‘normal’ hearing is like reading a letter where the words are clearly printed. In this case, you can easily and quickly read the letter, digesting the information quite efficiently. Now imagine reading that same letter but with messy handwriting. If some words were unclear you’d question if you were really getting the full picture of the details in that letter. Reading a messy letter is similar to what someone with hearing loss may be experiencing. If the word is coming in ‘messy’, people often have to fill in the gaps for the words that they are missing. Adding other variables, such as others speaking away from that person, talking from a different room, speaking with your hands over your mouth, and competing with background noise all make hearing more difficult.

If you have a family member or friend with hearing loss, it is important to be patient with them. If they do not hear you, try a different word and make sure you are face-to-face with them. Effective communication can and does make all the difference!

See below for a powerful visual that illustrates what ineffective communication looks like for someone with hearing loss, taken from: actiondeafness.org.uk

Danielle Pollard, BC-HIS
Registered Hearing Aid Practitioner
Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences