5 Life-Changing Techniques for Better Living While Hard of Hearing

Like any health issue, hearing loss can lead to drastic changes in our quality of life. It’s stressful, challenging, and downright debilitating. The increased stress from needing to ask folks to speak up, repeat what they’ve said, or start over again can make us feel lethargic and apathetic. The need for hearing aids when watching television or even just stepping out for groceries can be frustrating, too, not to mention costly. Let’s take a look at five things we can do to improve ourselves when dealing with hearing loss.

“They certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

Not all these things will seem especially linked to being hard-of-hearing, but every one of them can be used as a tool for destressing. In turn, you’ll live a healthier life and — to borrow a current catchphrase — “have more spoons” to deal with the hardships you’ll face from your hearing woes.

Yoga And Tai Chi


Source: curtamais.com.br

Proven sources of relaxation, yoga, and tai chi are designed to work you out in controlled motions which can calm the body and mind. They help to oxygenate you, too, by causing you to move in slow, methodical, and deliberate ways which ease your breathing. If you’ve struggled with moments where your hardness-of-hearing has brought you close to snapping at someone, you should consider pursuing one or both of these exercise routines. Mental clarity and emotional stability are improved through good health, and there are few better ways to see that happen than through this.

“Yoga is widely known for reducing stress, improving flexibility and concentration, and promoting a sense of peace—to name just a few of its possible positive outcomes,” writes Tracy S. Hutchinson, Ph.D.

You can attend a class and get direct tips from qualified instructors. Alternatively, you can look up exercise routines on YouTube; the modern information era has given us plenty of cheaper ways to discover new lifestyles.


Like yoga and tai chi, gardening has a therapeutic quality. There’s a serene grace in helping things to grow and gradually reaping the fruit-and-vegetable rewards. While advanced landscaping is a tough gig, there are many relatively easy things you can grow for just pennies on the dollar that will only require occasional watering once the soil’s been made ready for planting. Spending several minutes each evening tending your crops will become routine for you, and you’ll know that no matter how stressful a day you’ve had dealing with people who mumble, your plants will always be there waiting for you.



Source: rei.com

We sure are working you to the bone, aren’t we? Lots of exercise in this article. Then again, that’s intentional — get the blood flowing, get those muscles sore, all of it will help you to unwind. Hiking’s great fun, and it’s cheap, too! National parks are generally very reasonably-priced, and many of the local offerings only charge a few bucks for parking. You can wrap yourself in nature, far away from the stress of difficult communication. The sounds of birds chirping overhead and trees swaying with the breeze can both be heard at whatever volume your ears will allow, without the need to ask them to “speak up”. You’ll hear what you hear, and you can leave your aid at home; just immerse yourself in the gorgeous sights of your chosen destination.

“Being in daylight also boosts your mood and that makes it more likely that you’ll have creative thoughts and get along with your fellow hikers,” writes Sally Augustin Ph.D.

Support Groups


Source: wth.org

Well, at least you can rest your legs for this one. Support groups exist for just about anything you can imagine, so you’d better believe there are plenty of open channels for folks who are hard-of-hearing! You’ve got options here; you can either do this virtually or traditionally. Online support groups, like web forums, are filled with people overcoming similar struggles. They’re a great “sound-off” venue for you to ask questions, seek suggestions, and find all sorts of answers to better living while dealing with the rigors of hearing loss. Brick-and-mortar support groups offer the same deal, and you can discuss sensitive topics in the presence of others who are almost guaranteed to understand. You can probably snag a cup of coffee and a donut, too, while you’re at it.

Another option is to gain assistance from psychologists at BetterHelp. They are trusted by many in this business, and you can reach them through Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Painting And Photography

Tell me if you’ve heard this one before: a picture is worth a thousand words. I don’t know that I agree with that on a universal basis; sometimes words are more effective. But broadly speaking? Absolutely. Why not learn to communicate through beautiful tapestries and paintings? Paint to your heart’s desire. Boot up some of those aforementioned YouTube videos to learn innovative artistic techniques, then apply them as a hobby. You can also try your hand at photography. Pristine sunsets are all too fleeting, so capture them and post them all over social media. Bring your phone along, or a nice higher-end camera, while you’re hiking through parks. Take snapshots of all the beautiful scenery. Before long, your loved ones will be commenting on how great you’ve gotten at this, and you’ll be instilled with a creative confidence that will help you to move past the difficulties of your hearing loss.

Social Graces in the World of Hearing Loss

Life can be hard enough already without having to endure the rigors of hearing loss. In a world of fast talkers, mumblers, and folks who feel the need to whisper their every word, unique frustrations arise. It can be terribly demanding, to the point where those of us who suffer hearing loss may wish to retreat into our proverbial shells away from social interaction altogether.

“They certainly understand that they’re outsiders in the hearing world, and no matter how good their skills at speaking and lip reading, they may never completely fit in,” writes David Ludden Ph.D.

Of course, that’s far from healthy. And most of the time, it isn’t realistic, either. So let’s speak up on how to gracefully give your best effort toward getting people to understand your ears don’t operate at optimum efficiency.

Immediately Introduce The Issue


Source: youtube.com

First impressions go a long way with people. A lot can be said for the potential pitfalls of “snap judgments”, but nevertheless, we tend to deeply associate others with how they present themselves the first time we meet them. How they’re dressed, their manner of speech, their eye contact — to an extent, this will be ingrained in our minds going forward. To that end, the first words we exchange are also important.

“Positive first impressions lead to social cohesion; negative first impressions lead to biases and social prejudice,” writes Arthur Dobrin D.S.W.

Why not introduce your difficulty hearing things right alongside your name? You don’t have to be standoffish about it; you can simply say that your name is such-and-such, and “by the way, just to let you know, I’m hard-of-hearing. Please bear that in mind!” A chipper tone and a friendly smile will keep the mood warm and friendly, but you’ve instantly established the situation and saved yourself some avoidable irritation.

Periodically Reinforce The Issue


Source: medicalnewstoday.com

Setting aside introductions, day-to-day interaction can last for weeks, months, years, even lifetimes. Although you’ve gained a leg up on the issue if you’ve had the opportunity to address your hearing loss the moment you meet a person, you’ll likely still need to bring it up on a recurring basis.

Try not to feel too let-down or disappointed. It’s important to remember that in many cases, most of the people your friends and loved ones interact with will not have much difficulty with hearing. We all develop routines in our lives, and frequently that means building a “normal pitch” for one’s voice which is utilized in almost every social interaction. People will just need occasional reminders, gentle prodding, to remember that you’re not going to be able to understand what they’re saying unless they better-compose their voice for you.

Bring Your Issue To The Forefront


Source: nationalpost.com

We’ve spoken about the need to reinforce your hearing loss with those you see on a regular basis, but what about all the people you’ll be briefly involved? If you’re at a restaurant and your waiter or waitress seems a bit soft-spoken, open with a few words of apology before candidly explaining the situation. It’s not that you should have a real need to apologize — after all, there’s nothing to be sorry for — but kindness has a language of its own. Take the Japanese, for example; in their culture, it seems like everybody is apologizing to everybody else every hour of the day. It can seem rather overboard, but it’s effective. It’s a sign of humbleness, and it sets things off on the right foot, so-to-speak. If your waiter is halfway decent, they’ll very likely follow up with an apology of their own, and they’ll proceed to dial up their vocal tone henceforth.

“Kindness moves us. It nourishes and heals; strengthens and uplifts,” writes Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D.

“I’m sorry, but I’m actually rather hard-of-hearing. Could you please speak up? I’d really appreciate it.” A few relatively painless words to get things under control and grant you the ability to understand. You can use this technique just about anywhere, from banks to doctor’s offices to hair salons, and so long as you monitor your own tone, you’ll find that the majority of the people you’ll be dealing with will respond warmly and cheerfully help to ensure you’re able to parse their every word.

How To Enjoy Television and Films Without Perfect Hearing


We live in a highly cinematic society. Every year, millions of eager fans flock to their favorite genre movies and line up on communal couches to catch up on their cult hit television shows. People rant and rave online about the ridiculous number of episodes they “binge-watched” on Netflix. It’s all a bit overwhelming! But this can quickly transform into a challenging and even self-loathing affair if our hearing problems get in the way of a good time. If we can’t understand what the characters are saying, then we might not follow the plot, and we’ll certainly lose track of all the intricacies and nuances which come together to create rich stories with meaningful themes. We’re lost, struggling to keep up as our friends laugh at every joke and make commentary amongst themselves.

Source: reckless.agency

Today we’ll discuss a few ways you can get back into the shows you enjoy and even maximize your listening potential at the movies. A lot of this might seem like common sense, but we’ve strung it all together in a quick go-to guide so you can get refreshed on the wonderful options available to hearing-impaired individuals like you (and me).


Shop Savvy


It’s been decades since the days when not every new TV came with CC — that’s “Closed Captions” — but not all aural technology is created equally. Traditional CC is very messy; there’s a high margin for error, especially in the realm of live television like news reports and sports games. The tech just doesn’t have much time to work its magic, and the result is a terribly high number of mistakes in the transcription.

Source: blog.opensubtitles.website

So we’ve established that CC is a bit of a wash. Of course, for folks who are completely deaf, there really aren’t many other choices on the market. But for those of us with varying degrees of lower-than-average hearing comprehension, there are televisions with plenty of options better than just closed captions. Manufacturers like Samsung and Sony have gotten into the market for “Smart TVs”, which is a little like a “smartphone” in that you have countless opportunities to download apps which can do all sorts of things. Some of these apps work through your TV’s native settings to improve acoustics and overall volume, granting you a clearer sound, or let you overwrite the white-on-black somewhat ugly design scheme of standard captions with a multitude of other styles. Some of these styles are easier on the eyes, and some highlight which characters are speaking, their position, their manner-of-tone, all kinds of parameters which will help you to immerse yourself in the episode.


Hearing Headsets

Source: portaldepaulinia.com.br

             Alongside useful apps, newer-model TVs also offer a variety of plug-in choices for peripheral devices such as headphones. The market is now bursting with devices specifically labeled “hearing headsets”, which is a bit of a goofy name given that all headsets relate to hearing, but bear with us — this type is particularly well-suited to people with hearing loss. Look for buzz terms like “amplified” and “assistive”, which help denote that hearing aid technology is embedded into the system. The beauty of these devices is that some of them even allow you to keep outputting through your TV’s traditional sound system, meaning your weekly Game of Thrones get-togethers can continue. You’ll just happen to have a nice pair of headphones on while your compadres kick back all around you.


Movie Magic


We’ve gone over a couple of ways to improve your at-home television experience, but we haven’t touched Hollywood. Unfortunately, there’s no all-powerful way to make the silver screen friendlier to troubled ears, but there are a handful of things you can do to improve your odds. Firstly, you’ll want to sit somewhere around the eighth to fourteenth row back. In most theaters, this will put you around the forward-middle section, where many companies place a big set of speakers. You don’t want to sit closer to the front, because you’re actually less likely to hear quite as well. And you don’t want to sit further back, where another set of speakers is likely to be, either; you may experience a bit of dissonance from feeling so far away from the picture. (Little things like that can become more apparent to us when our hearing is diminished, similar to how folks who lose one sense report a stronger affiliation with their remaining senses.)


You also have an alternative: gone are the days of Blockbuster Video, but there’s always Redbox and similar DVD rental kiosks. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find these automatic marvels in front of your local grocery store, gas station, and even library. The benefit here is that you’ll be able to control the volume and use hearing aids on must-see movies without having to wait months or even years for home video release. Traditionally, movies now hit the Redbox rental stage within a month or two of leaving cinema. Save up for a swanky home theater system and buy some popcorn. Treat yourself to the full experience without sacrificing a decibel of fun.