7 – Hearing Loss as a Communication Disorder

Because hearing loss is a communication disorder, it affects both the individual who has it and those who are attempting to speak to him or her — the communication partners (CPs). The perspectives and experiences of both the person who is talking (the speaker) and the person who is attempting to listen (the listener) must be taken into consideration during assessment, treatment and follow-up because

Two major hearing loss-related problems affecting both the listener and the speaker include:

Approaching Communication Problems

When a person who has hearing loss knows he or she does not understand what is being said, that should be easily correctable provided the person knows the various causes of communication problems, pinpoints the cause of this particular problem, and offers a solution to it. Unfortunately, most people do not know how to do this and when communication problems occur, many people resort to bluffing, withdrawing and/or becoming emotionally upset. It is, then, very important that both the people who are hard of hearing and their communication partners learn what to do about the following situations:

People who have hearing loss need to practice feeding back the essentials of what they heard, especially, who (names), when (times and dates), where (locations), and other spoken numbers. Otherwise, neither they nor the person speaking will know whether what was said has been correctly understood.