We had a wonderful response to our May Month Contest!
This year, to celebrate Speech and Hearing Month, we asked you, people with hearing loss, their friends & family and professionals to connect with us on Facebook and share your expertise and tips for managing hearing loss in different situations. You did not disappoint! Please see below for all of the tips we collected.
YOUR TIPS FROM WEEK 1
What tip would you give to someone who just got their first set of hearing aids?
give yourself time adjust…wear them for an hour or so the first day, increasing it each day. Starting off right off the bat having them on full time may be very overwhelming depending on the severity of your hearing loss. Slowly integrate them into your daily routine
“keep them in as long as you can”
Always wear them, improves your social life
Wear them, and don’t be ashamed of them
Wear them. I know of several people who only wear them sometimes, when they feel that they ‘need to hear’. Of course, they always complain that they can’t get use to them!
Give it time to get used to them
Getting used to hearing aids is difficult! Don’t expect to be able to hear well with them as soon as you get them. Sounds and people may be different, and you may get annoyed with yourself. In time you will come to love them!
Hearing aids will not fix your hearing loss however in most cases they will help you hear conversations more easily which will reduce fatigue with straining to understand.
Take a step at a time if you have a child trying to adjust to getting hearing aids!
Don’t have high expectations, give it time…be patient
Don’t adjust the volume too much.
Find a quiet place to speak with others when in noisy situations
Wear them for as long as you possibly can and increase the amount of time every day until you are totally comfortable with them.
Do wear them for sure.
It does take a little time to get used to them but well worth it
What tip would you give to a parent who just learned their child has hearing loss?
If they are school age, advocate for your child then do it again and again. If it’s new for you and kiddo it’s new for teacher, too.
Remind them that hearing aids are like eyeglasses – they are used to correct something to make your life better. Lots of people wear eyeglasses, and use them to enhance their style; hearing aids are in reality no different.
When speaking to your child be sure you are facing them, and they can see your lips.
Always be face to face, it’s so important
Be patient and seek out a means to make life better. I don’t have a child with hearing loss but I found out late in life I did. It’s frustrating for me so I can imagine what it’s like for a child. I have a CI in one ear but not until I spent thousands on hearing aids that just wouldn’t work for my type of loss.
What tip would you give someone who says they can hear but cannot understand what is said in background noise?
Several different possibilities… If have a hearing aid with directional mics controlled by bluetooth, could try changing the settings. Another option is to move to a different location. Another is to try lip reading to help with understanding. Finally, and this is one that I personally am not great at, ask the other person to speak up to help you hear.
Of course, the most obvious one, if you don’t already have hearing assistance, suggest getting a hearing test
Move to a quiet place, or if possible turn off the background noise.
I would suggest that they go back to their hearing aid provider if they have hearing aids and ask about any available programs in their hearings aids to help with conversations in noise. Also, with or without hearing aids, speech reading is an awesome skill to have to help with conversation in noise.
“he would try and get closer or ask the person to speak louder and repeat themselves”
What tip would you give someone who just found out they have hearing loss and will need hearing aids?
What tip would you have for someone who just found out they have hearing loss and will need hearing aids?
Get a hearing test. Have a discussion with your audiologist / hearing aid provider about the right product for you with the right features. Get the hearing aid. Wear it to get used to it. It might take a couple of weeks, but keep wearing it.
Hearing aids will only improve your hearing like eye glasses improve your sight.
Gather information about hearing aids and what they can do for your hearing. Talk to CHHA-NL, they have a lot of knowledge they can share with you.
Shop around. I didn’t. Don’t be afraid to return them if you don’t like them, if given the option for free that is.
YOUR TIPS FROM WEEK 2
What tip would you have for someone with hearing loss who cannot hear the fire alarm when they are sleeping?
Contact CHHA-NL for information for choices available
Ask CHHA for a vibrating alarm!
Contact CHHA-NL where you can learn of the choices available and decide which one is right for you. They have a lending program where depending on availability you may be able to try different options as well.
Look into the vibrating and visual smoke detectors that will work better for anyone with hearing impairments. I myself need one because I can’t hear the alarms with my hearing aids removed.
Seek out a smoke detector that will vibrate. I know we often think that someone else will wake us but what if it’s that one time when you are home alone. When my CI is out, I don’t even know the alarm is going off.
What tip would you have for someone who wants to call 811 NL HealthLine but cannot hear well on the phone?
Download the 811 app and use the text feature
Get a close friend or family member to help.
My son don’t hear well on the phone so he uses speaker phone with volume turned up. Also I know there are lots of different ways to help with this situation and Andrea has great loaner products to try before you purchase. Don’t be shy… chhanl is a great place with great people to help with all sorts of issues we all encounter.
Use speaker phone. It’s not ideal as you cannot use your phone in public but I only use speaker phone even though I have devices that I can use. Most people text me so I’d prefer not to have a device on me all day/every day if I may never receive a phone call.
What tip would you give someone who is struggling with Tinnitus?
A great group and I met with CHHA-NL personnel when first diagnosed with Menieres. It is currently under control (for me, for now) so I have not joined any of their sessions, but knowing that they are there is always comforting. I have suggested the group to others. Great work by CHHA-NL!
Some hearing aids have tinnitus programs that help counter the sound. For me, I just got used to it, and accepted it. Then the sound faded into the background. It’s always there as a low background noise, but just not bothersome. It is only when I specifically think about it that it actually seems to increase in volume.
Focusing on other things is the biggest help for tinnitus, also try to avoid stressful situations, really loud noise, and alot of caffeine. These are things that help for me!
Often, if there is a distraction nearby, such as background music or TV, someone with tinnitus will be able to tune out the tinnitus sounds they hear. Listening to other sounds that someone finds relaxing can help the person cope with the bothersome sounds they always hear in their ears. Many people with tinnitus find a white noise machine helps at night to relax and help with sleeplessness.
What good advice would you give someone who is thinking about getting a Cochlear Implant and is a candidate?
Go for it. Best thing for me. I didn’t realize what I was missing out on. Lots of adjusting but so worth it.
Be patient with it because it is not normal hearing and you need time to adjust. But it is so worth it being able to hear again.
YOUR TIPS FROM WEEK 3
What tip would you give someone who says hearing aids will not help them because they did not help a friend?
Definitely persevere . Its a strange feeling at first but we’ll worth it
Everyone is different and you do not know how the device that your friend was prescribed/selected, programmed, or used! You need to try it yourself, and use it regularly. Many Hearing Aid providers will allow a 30d trial to get use to a device, so use that to ensure that it is the right fit, with the right programming, for you.
I would say to them that I have done my research and have realistic expectations of what a hearing aid can and cannot do. Because I have done my research, I know everyone’s hearing loss is different and I know they are aids to communication, not a fix. I know it takes time to adjust to hearing aids. I have made a commitment to myself to make the most of my hearing, have a positive attitude about my hearing and this will help me have a positive experience with hearing aids. I would suggest that their friend contact CHHA-NL to find out more about hearing aids and making the most of their hearing.
Every person responds differently, and you need to give yourself time to adjust.
What tip would you have for someone with hearing loss attending a video conference?
Advise the facilitator in advance, use an application that has live captioning, use over the ear headphones so that your hearing aid(s) are inside the hearing cup and can pick up the sound (my technique, but I have monaural loss only)
I would check and see if the conference has caption, if not ask in advance if it can be added.
Use accessories if any with hearing aids/CI such as mini mic or a telecoil neck loop plugged into headphone jack of computer.
Hearing impaired individuals should be proactive in letting others know of the challenges they are experiencing with video conferencing. Inform others that you are hearing impaired and offer helpful hints when possible to help them communicate more effectively with you.
A quiet & bright room without background noise will definitely help.
What tip would you give someone who is not hearing conversation well in the dining room?
Ask other people to look towards you, ask people to speak up, ask to move to another room, if you have a hearing aid with directional mics adjust them accordingly (it helps, doesn’t necessarily solve these problems, but it helps based on personal experience)
Sit close to someone that can help you with conversation and inform your dinner guest of your hearing problem.
Sit facing away from the noise/room if you wear hearing aids: The majority of today’s hearing aids have directional microphone technology which helps you hear more clearly when background noise is present. Most directional system hearing aids are made so you can better hear the person you’re facing, therefore reducing noise behind you and amplifying the sound in front of you.
It’s also more helpful to have your dining partner sit with their back to a wall, so their voice is the only sound coming from in front of you, minimizing the amplified sound coming in front of you. These small changes in your dining out experience will make a huge difference and maximize your hearing aid features.
What tip would you give someone in explaining their hearing loss and communication needs to employers
Ask for good lighting and close blinds/curtains. This will make lip reading easier
Explain the hearing issue and discuss the various ways in which the employer may be able to help the employee, which would certainly vary depending on the workplace. Some particular items could include posters, and memos to others explaining the actions that can be taken to help those suffering with hearing loss. Furthermore, a key part of the discussion should be around health and safety – are warning devices (fire alarms, etc) audible only, or do they have a visual component? Some possible accommodations could include: installation of telecoil devices; protocols regarding video conferencing requiring captioning, shifting from teleconferences to video conferences, installation of different life safety equipment, installation of different telephones, signage, awareness campaigns, awareness of lip reading and the need to face people, asking for more written rather than verbal instructions, etc.
Ask them to get your attention first.
Ask them to be clear and concise but not speak louder.
Avoid trying to speak if there are other noises in the room. Look at me when speaking.Don’t cover the mouth.
If I ask you to repeat, don’t get frustrated – imagine how frustrating it is for me.
If anyone is speaking to you ask them get your attention first.
Speak clearly and a little louder than usual, making sure your face is well lit and unobstructed (for example, don’t eat or turn away while talking).
Know your own needs, know what is expected in your job, be aware of assistive devices / supports that might help you and seek advice from hearing professionals and CHHA-NL
Be polite but assertive in communicating those needs and making requests for whatever you need from your employer
My tip for better hearing would be to minimize different background noises!
YOUR TIPS FROM WEEK 4
What tip would you have for someone who cannot hear the service at their church?
Use an FM system, ask the readers in your parish to wear clear masks, sit closer to the speaker, advocate for yourself and let the parish know you are hard of hearing, ask readers in church to speak clearly and slowly, see an audiologist to have a hearing assessment and discuss your options.
Sit closer or use a hearing device. I have a Rogers select. I don’t use it a lot but I should. I often attend conferences and meetings and it’s very convenient for that. The speaker wears it and it’s like they are right next to you speaking.
Sitting in the front row really helps even if there is a loop system. I find that being able to see the readers face makes a huge difference.
Inform your church and request they add a Telex system for hard of hearing individuals. I use one all the time and it is great.
Ask the church if they have any assisted hearing equipment.
Some Churches have audio support systems or Loop systems
I would suggest asking if they have head phones you could use or if you have a personal FM system ask if it would be an issue if the speaker could be worn or placed near the people speaking
What tip would you give someone who has hearing loss and is struggling in conversations with someone who is wearing a solid mask?
Take someone with you if possible, or have pen and paper , I’ve been lucky where my coworkers can pull their masks down when we’re not around plenty of people to be able to repeat what they said with visible reading of their lips
Major struggle especially in stores where there is plexiglass and some wear a face shield over their mask. I tell them that I have difficulty hearing and ask them to speak louder and slower. This doesn’t always work out
Ask them to repeat themselves, or take someone with you with good hearing. Also, I mask that informs people that you are hard of hearing. I have one that states “Hard of hearing” and it works great.
This can be a struggle. I have loss on one side only, so I position my ‘good’ ear towards the speaker, and adjust the directional mics on my hearing aid to help. A good thing to do is to ask them to speak up, and to identify that you have hearing loss (something that I am not necessarily great at). Another help can be when you have someone with you who can help with words that you may have missed. You could ask them to write as well, depending on the location and context. Another option, although I am loath to even mention it, is to increase distance, and ask them to lower their mask for anything that you have any particular and repeated difficulty with.
It’s a major struggle and one I have not mastered well. I try to get them to be as clear as possible and I turn my good ear in that direction and hope for the best. Those I have regular conversations with is not such a big deal as I am used to their voices so that helps. Big struggle in stores especially when you have people wearing a mask and the plexiglass as well. I always indicate I am hard of hearing but I never ask them to remove their mask.
In Newfoundland, Ask the person to slow down their speech a bit and speak clearly.
To tell that person your hard of hearing . I’m having a hard time with this myself and before they get into a conversation I let them know . Didn’t realize how much I depended on watching someone speak until masks
What tip would you have for someone with hearing loss about choosing a restaurant?
Look online for reviews regarding sound levels; try to choose a restaurant that is quieter, and ask for a table that is away from the larger crowds, where you can (as much as possible) face the people that you are with. If your Hearing Aid has customizable sound programs, set one up for the the restaurant (my experience is that these programs aren’t as good as advertised, but they do actually help).
Not much choice here in the bay, lol. We have a couple of restaurants to chose from so I just wing it most times and make sour faces when it’s too loud. I do try to stay away from larger groups. I have a CI so I just turn it down. It can be challenging.
Choose a restaurant with low ceilings, things to absorb sound (wall décor, furniture, etc..) and that has booths. Seating in a restaurant is key to hearing and understanding.
Ask waiter to put you in the most quiet spot that don’t have loud noise, with plenty of lighting
Pick a quiet Restaurant and sit away from noises like close to kitchen or a load crowd
Choose a quite/bright area. A corner table or one by a wall works best.
Choose a time when the restaurant may not be too busy.
Choose a quieter type restaurant no loud music or dim lights so you can see and hear the people you are with
Stay away from trendy, loud restaurants, especially now that everyone, including the servers are wearing masks; masks it ever harder to hear!!! I ate at a very loud restaurant in March and it was nuts!!!!! I did not enjoy my meal. There are restaurants that cater to hearing issues.
I always sit in a booth or with my back to the wall. This helps to minimize background noise and I make sure to communicate that when talking to me you must look in my direction
What tip would you give a student with hearing loss to improve their learning experience in the classroom?
sit close to the front and ask for a copy of class notes ahead of time. Skim the notes so you are familiar on what topic is being discussed that day.
Request information from teacher beforehand to have a better understanding of the topics
The best tip is information, inform the teacher and your peers of your hearing problem.
Ask to move closer to the front of the class. Get and wear hearing aids. Ask the teacher to wear a mic. Ask if telecoils can be installed in the school. Ask for hearing accommodations such as sign language interpreters. Ask for more written, rather than verbal instructions.
Ask the teacher to repeat questions and answers posed by students. Ask for instructions to be put in writing to supplement the oral instructions given to the class.
These are all great tips! I would definitely inform the teacher and peers so they can be aware and do what they can to limit obstacles. Sit up front. For an older student, maybe utilize technology, such as a laptop so that notes can be taken while not having to look down.
Sit up front. Ask teacher to repeat, slow down, ask questions. Ask teacher for copy of notes if they were dictated to the class. Tennis balls on the classroom chairs and adjacent classrooms chairs.
I agree with Joy. Sitting up front so you can see the teachers face will make a big difference.