Avoid noisy environments
If you have some hearing, avoiding noisy environments can make it easier for you to hear and understand conversation. The more background noise there is, the harder it is for your auditory systems to filter out what’s important, making it harder for you to communicate.
Some hearing loss is permanent, but can be helped with hearing aids. There are a few different types of hearing aids your audiologist may recommend .
- In-the-ear (ITE)
- This type of hearing aid fits inside the ear canal and on the outer portion of the ear. This type is best for mild hearing loss.
- Behind-the-ear (BTE)
- This type fits behind the ear. This hearing aid works for all degrees of hearing loss, including severe. Behind-the-ear aids work with other assistive devices including FM systems, telephone adaptors, and television amplifiers. This is a good option for people who have small ear canals or get ear infections.
- Open fit hearing aids
- These are similar to the behind-the-ear aids because the amplifier and electronics sit behind the ear. There is a slim tube and tip that sit inside the ear canal. This is a more comfortable option for people with small canals. Open fit hearing aids work for severe hearing losses and are best for persons with mild to moderate high frequency hearing loss.
- CROS (Contralateral Routing of Signal)
- This system is for people with one ear that is unable to be helped by a hearing aid. A microphone on the ear with a deficit can feed sound to the stronger ear.
Lip reading is a difficult skill to learn, but it can come in handy for communicating with others on a daily basis, particularly since the majority of people don’t know sign language.
Subtitles for videos
Subtitles for videos and films make it possible to still enjoy visual content without having to rely on audio to understand what is happening.
Use American Sign Language
American Sign Language (ASL) is an effective way for people with hearing deficits to communicate. Like learning any new language, it will take a lot of time, hard work, and patience to learn. It may also require other members of your household or close community to learn it as well so that they can communicate with you in a way that’s easy for you. There are courses you can take.
- Resources from the Government of Canada on learning sign language
- Frequently asked questions from the Canadian Association of the Deaf
- Education resources from Canadian Hearing Services
Use writing as a communication tool
Reading and writing are effective tools of communication. You can have others write out what they want to say if you’re having quick conversations. There are also dictation programs available that generate words based on what a person is saying. This can be an effective tool if you aren’t using sign language or are communicating with someone who does not know sign language.
Disclaimer: There is no shortage of web-based online medical diagnostic tools, self-help or support groups, or sites that make unsubstantiated claims around diagnosis, treatment and recovery. Please note these sources may not be evidence-based, regulated or moderated properly and it is encouraged individuals seek advice and recommendations regarding diagnosis, treatment and symptom management from a regulated healthcare professional such as a physician or nurse practitioner. Individuals should be cautioned about sites that make any of the following statements or claims that:
- The product or service promises a quick fix
- Sound too good to be true
- Are dramatic or sweeping and are not supported by reputable medical and scientific organizations.
- Use of terminology such as “research is currently underway” or “preliminary research results” which indicate there is no current research.
- The results or recommendations of product or treatment are based on a single or small number of case studies and has not been peer-reviewed by external experts
- Use of testimonials from celebrities or previous clients/patients that are anecdotal and not evidence-based
Always proceed with caution and with the advice of your medical team.