Helping a Loved One

Help a loved one with hearing loss. You can make a difference.

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect the person who has it. It also affects spouses, family members and friends. Convincing someone to seek help for hearing loss is not always easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

Hearing Loss

How hearing loss affects loved ones

Increased frustration: Loud TVs, constantly repeating yourself, or having to “translate” for your loved one can be frustrating.

Heightened concern and worry: Hearing loss increases the risk of falls, injuries and missed warning sounds

Recurring miscommunication: When instructions or information get lost in translation, the chance for mistakes and misunderstandings grows.

Grandmother teaching granddaughter how to cook

Tips to Help

Support is the most important part of helping someone through understanding their hearing. We encourage all our patients to be accompanied with a loved one for their first few visits. After all, hearing connects us to the important things in our lives and is a communal experience.

Talk to your loved one about their hearing concerns.

Gently remind them of their hearing loss every time you “translate” or repeat something for them.

Encourage them to visit a hearing professional to do more research and get their questions answered.

Offer to schedule and attend a hearing consultation with them.

Remind them they have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain by seeing a hearing professional.

Do’s and don’ts of communicating
with someone with hearing loss


  • Do get the person’s attention before you begin talking. It can be as simple as saying their name so they know they should pay attention.
  • Do repeat things if asked and try rephrasing it to provide more information about the topic.
  • Do move closer to the person if you are in a noisy place or more than six feet away.
  • Do use facial expressions and gestures to help augment communication.
  • Do recommend they get their hearing tested by a hearing healthcare professional.


  • Don’t try to talk to someone from a different room. Sound doesn’t know how to travel around corners and through doors.
  • Don’t yell. It changes your voice and face and can make reading cues from your face difficult.
  • Don’t cover your mouth as you speak.
  • Don’t say “never mind.” It is dismissive and excludes the person from the conversation when they were just trying to understand.
  • Don’t speak extra slow. It doesn’t help the hearing impaired to hear any better and can make lip-reading harder.

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