Dr. Trychin, in Staying in Touch, recommends that we show our appreciation for the efforts people make to communicate. Positive feedback facilitates the continuation of better communication. Some ways he suggests to verbally reward others:
I appreciate it
That's much better
Some non-verbal expressions of appreciation and reinforcement:
getting angry at the other person because you can't hear them
-- paraphrased from "Staying in Touch"
I know someone with hearing loss (who hasn't accepted it yet) who gets irritated with me when I talk to him with background noise playing. Gives me a pinched-up irritated look and says, "What?!". Sure doesn't make me want to repeat what I said.
I tend to let people know about my hearing loss when there's a problem in communication. I'm not comfortable starting off a conversation about my hearing loss when it may not be relevant at the moment.
I also feel uncomfortable when someone discloses my hearing loss for me. I feel it should be my prerogative. I was in a meeting once where I took out my FM device and pushed it towards the middle of the table. One of my colleagues stopped the meeting to remind everyone to speak up because of my hearing loss. My colleague meant well but I didn't really like the attention, and the implication that everyone was somehow ignoring my needs. Personally, it made me less likely to use the FM device if it was going to interrupt the flow of a meeting.
Failure to inform people of your hearing loss may result in misinterpretation of your failure to understand or respond as:
social/personality psychological issues
--paraphrased from "Staying in Touch"
My failure to respond has resulted in hurt feelings. My father said something to me but my back was turned so I didn't respond. He told my sister that he was hurt that I ignored him. Good thing my sister explained to him that I wasn't ignoring him, that I really do have a serious hearing loss. Sometimes people really don't realize how much someone can't hear until something like this happens.
Just reading the "Staying in Touch" workbook and it had an interesting example in the "Assessing Physical Environments" section:
At a party or loud social gathering it's not well-received to ask the host to turn down the music especially when people are dancing. A solution to this problem would be to ask the person who is talking to you if they would move to a quieter room. He continues to say that "people who are hard of hearing should be wary of assuming that others won't cooperate when asked to make environmental modifications".
For me it's not about whether they would cooperate. I would find it awkward to ask someone to move to another room, especially if I don't know that person and they were being polite by striking up some small talk (which I'm not terribly good at). I would feel awkward about removing them from their social comfort zone to have a small talk conversation with me. I would worry that we'd move to the other room and she'd say something like "I was saying, 'Nice music isn't it?'", then I'd say "Yes, it is. Good beat." and then we'd stand there in silent awkwardness and she'd say "Well I better get back to the party, my husband is probably looking for me."
I found this National Institute of Health hearing tutorial interesting, especially the interactive pitch/loudness display on Lesson 3 - Pitch Me A Curve.
(Click on the Hearing Response tab.) It confirms that I hear nothing at 2000hz and beyond.....well, not exactly nothing. I hear a snap at 20db and higher.
My hearing aids are under a year old, so they are covered by insurance. What a relief. All I pay for is a new right earmold....$60. Not bad. Had the mold impression made this afternoon. Now it's just a matter of waiting for my mold and new hearing aid to arrive. Shouldn't be long.
The technician said about once a month they get a hearing aid in need of repair because a dog munched on it. What a surprise. I thought I was the first in all of history to have my aid chewed by a dog.