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First you learn – then you can help

It is important to understand the effects that hearing loss can have.  Friends and family may be under the impression that the person with hearing loss has selective hearing. This is usually because some sounds come through clearly, but not others. The softer, high-pitched consonants (e.g. “s” and “f”) become harder to hear than the stronger, lower, vowel sounds. And then gaps begin appearing in words and sentences.  At times these gaps might be easy to fill in, making it appear as though the person hears everything. But when things get noisy; when they cannot rely on lip reading; when the talker is standing far away or the topic of conversation changes rapidly, the gaps will become so wide as to be impossible to fill in.  Then you will start to hear them say, “Sorry, could you say that again?” – a request that can be frustrating to satisfy in the long run. Or you will see them quietly withdrawing. If this should happen at family gatherings, parties, restaurants, try to step in and get them back into the conversation.  Better still, try to get them to step into a hearing clinic.

Did you know that nearly one in two people over the age of 50

often has difficulty understanding what people say when it is noisy?