I look for hearing loss memes to post on our work Facebook page. Some are funny, some are true and some are way off base. Let’s take a look at memes.
This happens all the time with people who have hearing loss and there’s a variety of reasons. We can sense the other person’s agitation and we still didn’t hear it so we nod and let it go. Or someone is in deep denial still and afraid to admit they can’t hear.
There are a few fixes. One, we ask the other person to rephrase instead of saying “what” or “huh” a third time. We can repeat the parts we heard and ask them to repeat only the words we didn’t hear. If the other person doesn’t know we have a hearing loss, we can start being upfront about it and hopefully their agitation goes down. We can also chose to make these learning experiences for the hearing person. Hearing aids don’t correct hearing like glasses do for vision.
My high frequency hearing loss prevents me from hearing some consonants so conversations are like the wheel of fortune. Let the other person know that gesturing aids communication or have them use the ASL alphabet to finger spell the word.
Excuse my language but this one bugs the shit out me. Yelling and shouting does not help most people with hearing loss. Plus, its in the ear (decibel damage there) and the person is not facing me. I hear with my eyes and my ears. Yelling in my ear or at me will only piss me off. I will reach out, put both my hands on each side of your face and have you face me. That’s the correct way to communicate.
Hold everything! This might be funny to hearing people but let me tell you there are huge mistakes in communication here. You cannot talk to us like normal hearing people, it’s setting us both up communication for complete failure so you too need to change your ways. Number one, get my attention before you start speaking. Number two, be sure you face me so I can see what you are saying too.
For the hard of hearing people; tell the hearies in you life to face you. Be upfront about your hearing loss and your needs. Don’t just say “I’m hard of hearing,” tell people what you need to facilitate communication. Ask for a booth or a corner table at a restaurant to help block out some noise. Make sure your hearing aids have a program for noisy situations (the program should drop the noise level a few notches and have microphones on focus forward). Sit in well lit areas so you can see what’s being said even if you don’t think you lipread.
Um, how is he supposed to “hear” through a mask? I’m sure he uses lipreading with his remaining hearing. Volume will not help, lipreading and proper enunciation makes a big diffidence. Does the guy with hearing loss know how hears, does his wife? Have they been properly educated about his hearing loss? Do they know hearing aids don’t replace true hearing? I’m thinking they don’t.
There is something to this one. What I heard compared to what was said is often a lot more fun! As long as we both have a sense of humor, it’s lots of fun. Go with it and laugh. Another round please waiter!
Hearing aids pick up all kinds of noise, not just speech and it can be awful. It will make me clench my teeth so hard I can’t concentrate anymore. Maybe we had too much noise all day and we just need a break. Or we were lipreading for hours and need to rest the brain which brings me to…
It is so much work and so tiring. If I’m already tired, there’s no way I can keep up so please excuse me from certain social activities at this point. I’ve learned my limit.
Don’t we wish! Why did hear that and not that? I don’t know but it’s not selective hearing I promise you that. Maybe good acoustics help or the rotten acoustics wrecked my hearing. Maybe I was looking at you and maybe I wasn’t. Maybe you enunciated better than usual or your mumbled. There are so many variables when it comes to hearing loss.
Without captions or a hearing loop I can’t hear you in certain situations. If you want to include me and other hard of hearing people then please accommodate us, and we’re happy to go out to those lectures, pep rallies and workshops. Otherwise you get “what” and we feel isolated in a crowd.
Hearing loss still has too many misconceptions. There’s still a lot of educating to do and our job is to correct them. If you are hard of hearing please advocate for yourself because when you do, you educate the hearies. Figure out what is is you need to hear, state it and stand by it. We all deserve it.
Hearies, it takes too to make communication work. Do your part too because we did not chose hearing loss, hearing loss chose us.
3 thoughts on “The Trouble with Hearing Loss Memes”
Great article, Chelle! It’s worth sharing with hearies and non-hearies, alike.
Thank you so much for writing it. Jaynie
I’m just getting around to reading this. Great article! It’s always better to out yourself as soon as possible. There’s an art to determining the right moment and how much to explain– and also when to walk away from a relationship.