Disclosing hearing loss – why methods matter

Disclosing hearing loss – why methods matter

Individuals chose different ways to tell others they may be experiencing hearing loss. Believe it or not – there are studies that show certain ways of disclosing hearing loss are better and more productive than others. At Hearing Health, we believe customer service includes patient education and we can help you develop a strategy to inform others of your hearing loss. Prevention, education and rehabilitation all play a part in better hearing and getting on with a better life. These are all components of great customer service and we believe helping you helps set us apart from other clinics.

Three ways to inform others

Researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, including a number of renowned audiologists, surveyed individuals with hearing loss and how they had informed others of their hearing loss. Specific language and phrasing were studied to determine which disclosure method helped individuals let others know what was going on and what could be done to continue healthy work and social relationships.
The study discovered people with hearing loss informed others in three ways: basic disclosure, nondisclosure and multipurpose disclosure. This study as well as other studies, discovered it is best to describe your hearing loss to empower yourself and others to deal with hearing issues.

Basic Disclosure
You talk about your hearing difficulties with the people who you are closest with and who you trust the most. It would go something like this: “I have trouble hearing due to an ear infection I had a number of years ago.” You have indicated you have some hearing issues and they may need to accommodate you so you can participate in a conversation or situation. They have basic information to help you and be supportive.

Nondisclosure is skirting the core issue, gives the least amount of information to individuals and is the least helpful. All you end up doing is asking people to repeat what they’ve said or talk louder. They have no information to help you or support you. They may think on any given day you just have a headache or worse, were not paying attention to them or what was going on.

Multipurpose disclosure
Multipurpose disclosure indicates you have trouble hearing and it provides others with suggestions on what can be done to support and help you. You could say something like this: “I can hear better with my right ear; can you stand on my right side while we are talking? Research through a number of surveys has shown the multipurpose disclosure method is the best way for those with hearing difficulties to move forward and have others help them. Research has also shown that women are better at explaining hearing loss and more than twice as likely to explain to others what they are experiencing and what can be done to help them.

In the majority of cases for all individuals, when family, friends and co-workers learn you have a hearing disability, they are more than willing to help out and accommodate you. This goes a long way to relieving stress and anxiety!

Let your employer know

Nearly everyone knows someone who has hearing loss and your boss is likely no exception. Disclosure a hearing issues in a factual way. Note how productive of an employee you have been and how that will likely continue. Helping out with the hearing issue may mean just some slight changes, like a different phone headset, a little bit of a schedule change or perhaps moving the direction of your desk. Don’t assume the worst!
There are a number of great technological items you can use at work and it may just involve making sure you use your e-mail a little more so items are communicated in writing.

Better hearing – improved life

Research shows family and friends are very supportive of those with hearing difficulties. They have been a part of your life and social relationships and they want to continue being with you. It’s not a lot of work to help out those with a hearing issue. It’s sometimes as simply as sitting directly in front of someone when you are talking to them. How difficult is that! They want you to be successful in life and have you around to help them, too. Disclosing your hearing issues in a productive manner means you maintain your interactions and move towards keeping a better life.

Let Our Team at Hearing Health Help!

The professionals at Hearing Health can take you through the disclosure scenarios and help you get on with your life. We pride ourselves on customer and community support. We are just a phone call away.