Here at ENT Wellbeing, our resident Speech and Language Pathologist, Ashleigh Fattah, is an expert in communication issues and disorders. Her work centres on those who have difficulty communicating and those they interact with, helping them understand different modes of communication better.
Hearing loss has a significant impact on the relationships of an individual and their loved ones relationships. Communication is important in a healthy relationship and hearing loss adds a hurdle on to successful communication.
We recently contributed a case study for an article by Connect Hearing on how those with hearing loss can overcome these hurdles. The article, ‘How Hearing Loss Impacts Daily Life and the Workplace’ included the example of a client of ours, an elderly gentlemen with a moderate hearing loss living at home with his wife. Communication had become strained between the two of them.
The impact on communication included increased frustration as well as an excessive, unhealthily loud voice used in an attempt to compensate for his hearing loss. The gentleman’s wife reported feeling as though her husband had selective hearing. This misunderstanding came about as she did not fully understanding the scope of the hearing loss and the impact of important factors, such as background noise.
Ashleigh’s firm grasp of communication problems and the psychological issues they raise gives her unique insight into being able to counsel those with hearing loss. After all, the core goal of communicating is for others to understand what is being communicated. Difficulty with hearing will require you to make some changes to the ways in which communicate.
For the elderly gentleman and his wife this meant encouraging regular use of hearing aids and advising his wife, when communicating, to face her husband directly to avoid distortion of the sound and allow for lip reading cues to assist with communication. She was also encouraged to move closer rather than raising her voice, add gestures where possible and eliminate any background noise. This resulted in improvements in communication and ultimately their relationship.
Any change in your life can bring about a host of new frustrations and anxieties. Ashleigh’s background in psychology enables her to understand the issues that are at the root of these new feelings so that she can help you determine healthy methods for dealing with them.
For more information give us a call or schedule an appointment today to learn more about having better conversations with your hearing loss. Contact us today.