Mother and daughter with hearing loss

May is Better Hearing, Speech and Language Month, formerly known as Better Hearing & Speech Month. Despite the name change, the purpose remains unchanged. This month is dedicated to raising awareness about hearing loss, improved communication,  and speech impairments and acknowledging the professionals contributing to this field.

This year, we wanted to highlight BHSL month by sharing ways to promote hearing health care and communication strategies.

The Role of Audiologists

Audiologists are healthcare professionals who specialize in diagnosing, managing, and treating hearing balance or ear problems. They work in audiology, the science of hearing and balance. By assessing the severity and type of hearing loss a patient has, they develop a customized treatment plan.

Audiologist with child with hearing loss

Tips for better communication with someone with hearing loss

Hearing loss is a common problem for adults; even mild hearing loss can make communicating difficult. There are some things you can do to enhance someone’s communication success. While it may not be possible to do them all the time, trying to remember and implement them as often as possible can make a significant difference.

Active listening is a crucial aspect of effective communication. This means paying attention to the speaker, maintaining eye contact, and acknowledging their words through verbal and nonverbal cues. It also involves withholding judgment, avoiding distractions, and asking relevant questions.

Empathizing with the speaker can help create a safe and comfortable environment for communication. Empathy involves understanding and acknowledging the speaker’s emotions, perspectives, and experiences. Try to put yourself in their shoes and respond in a way that shows you understand their feelings.

Being clear and concise in your communication can help the listener better understand your message. This includes using simple language, avoiding jargon, and using examples or analogies to illustrate your point.

Being patient and respectful towards the speaker is crucial. Avoid interrupting them, and give them enough time to express their thoughts and ideas. If you disagree with something they say, do so politely and respectfully.

Audiologist speaking to new patient

By implementing these strategies, you can greatly improve someone’s communication success and create a more positive and productive environment for communication.

As we make our way through Better Hearing, Speech, and Language month, we urge you to think about one person in your life that you could talk to about their hearing. We believe that it takes a community to work together and spread awareness. And If you would like to speak to one of our audiologists and find out what course of action would be right for you, call us at (971) 701 – 6322.