Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to handle me and my hearing loss

I have a slight hearing loss, I'm not deaf but depending on what's going on around me I might not catch everything that is said to me, or none of it at all. When I'm sick it's worse because my ears are plugged. I have had to deal with this all my life basically and have had to deal with people who don't understand or just don't care and get frustrated with me if I don't hear everything the first time. My hearing loss is due to having multiple ear infections as a young child. I thought I would share some things to make it easier for people to deal with me, kind of a do this not that list. I have been thinking about doing this for months now and in reality I should of done this YEARS ago. So strap on your seat belts and here we go.

Don't talk to me while walking away from me, I won't hear everything you have to say.  The farther away you get from me the harder it is for me to hear everything. My mom is particularly bad about this, she will ask me to do something as she is going to another room, I might catch everything she says and then again I might not.

Make sure you have my attention before you start talking. This one is important especially if we are in an area that is very noisy. Background noise makes it very hard for me to decipher if someone is actually talking to me. Best way to do this is make eye contact with me or tap me on the shoulder.

Don't get mad if I don't answer you, I probably just didn't hear you. As I mentioned before background noise plays havoc with my ability to hear, so if you call my name and I don't respond I'm not ignoring you, I just didn't catch that you called out to me. My husband doesn't call out my name to get my attention anymore cause I didn't respond a lot of the times but if he whistles I will hear it and stop and look around for him. The downside to this is if someone else is whistling I automatically stop and look around for him even though I know he isn't with me.

Please repeat yourself if I asked you to. I know it's annoying to have to repeat yourself but if I didn't catch everything you said I will ask you to repeat yourself or say what? Sometimes I might have to ask 2-3 times before I get everything you say, if this is the case especially if I am battling a cold please be patient with me

Don't say Never mind. I hate when people say something and I wasn't paying attention so I didn't hear it or I was paying attention but just didn't catch it and ask them to repeat what they said and they say never mind. Please tell me what you said, if it was good enough to say it once please say it a second time.

Treat me like you would any other person. If we are meeting for the first time you might not know that I have a slight hearing loss. If I need you to speak up, or repeat yourself I will ask you to. Don't tease me about it once you find out about it either. I have an older brother who does that for you already. I let him get away with it for the most part because he is family, and I know he is just teasing to tease and not cause harm.

 Oh a good way to know if I have a cold and my ears are plugged is the volume of the T.V. if it seems louder then usual it's because I have had to crank it up so I can hear. At that point it is ok to speak a little louder then normal to me so I can understand you.

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