Whether you have hearing loss or not, we all use hearing aids. And some of the most effective ones are free.
“Many people use hearing aids frequently, without even realizing it. Things like ‘huh?’ ‘couldn’t hear you!’ or ‘what was that?’ are all forms of hearing aids,” says Hanan Merrill, a hearing practitioner and owner of Nanaimo Hearing Clinic. “These are phrases we use to try to hear better.”
Some of these hearing aid phrases are better than others — miscommunication can be frustrating, and if you say the wrong phrase you may just spread the frustration around. But phrases like ‘would you repeat that, it sounded really interesting,’ ‘I’m going to move a little closer, because I want to hear what you said,’ or ‘can we take this conversation outside where it’s quieter?’ are a little better.
Advocate for your hearing needs
“Another hearing aid that’s really important is one I call self advocacy — standing up for hearing loss you might have, and sharing that with the person you’re trying to communicate with,” Hanan says.
Self advocacy means explaining the nature of your hearing loss to the people you’re trying to communicate with, and ask them to do a few things to help you hear better.
“If they’re open to it, suggest they get your attention before they start speaking, make sure you’re looking at them, and talk a little slower and a little louder to improve communication.”
Use more than one hearing aid
Hanan Merrill has noticed that sometimes people with new hearing aids think that because they’ve spent thousands of dollars on premium technology they no longer need to use the free ones. But he says that’s the moment when free hearing aids are more important than they ever were before.
“There’s no replacement for hearing aids that you wear — they make sounds louder and more clear, and they’re critical if you have hearing loss. But free hearing aids that we all have access to are just as important.”
As you adjust to the new experience of wearing hearing aids, continue to advocate for your needs: ask people to get your attention before they start talking to you, and try to find a quiet spot for conversations when you can.
For more hearing tips, book an appointment with Nanaimo Hearing Clinic by calling 250-585-4100 or visit nanaimohearingclinic.com/contact. Find Nanaimo Hearing Clinic at 501-800 Turner Rd in Cactus Club Plaza, Nanaimo.