Disclosure Strategies to Help Communicate with Hearing Loss
logo

East Orlando, FL

South Orlando, FL

Winter Springs, FL

logo header

East Orlando, FL

South Orlando, FL

Winter Springs, FL

How to Disclose your Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is the third most common medical condition in the United States. It is an invisible disability that affects many Americans – approximately 48 million of them. The effects of hearing loss on communication may cause frustrations with new acquaintances and old. It could make conversation at a casual dinner or any social setting difficult.

At the same time, it is important to bring attention to the invisible communication obstacle of hearing loss. So how does one discuss such a topic? Is there a way to effectively remind those of one’s condition in a way that can also help one?

Disclosure Methods from a New Study

Recently, Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers asked 337 people with hearing loss a 15-question survey to understand what strategies were most commonly used and if those methods were effective. They researched what language people used to disclose their condition and found three different strategies: nondisclosure, basic disclosure, and multipurpose disclosure.

We will explore these methods and their reception by others. Do you find yourself saying or using these strategies?

Nondisclosure

i.e. “I can’t hear you. Please speak up.”

Simply put, one doesn’t disclose their hearing loss and, instead, use phrases to indicate that one didn’t catch what was said. While these are normal statements to make for both non-hearing impaired and hearing impaired alike, what happens if one says this too often? For some it might not be necessary to mention one’s condition, but it’s important to keep in mind that this might result in a social faux pas. One may be perceived to be inconsiderate for not paying attention when, in reality, one was simply unable to hear what was being said.

Basic Disclosure

i.e. “I’m partially deaf due to hearing loss.”

This doesn’t require mentioning the extent of one’s hearing loss but it isn’t uncommon to share details of one’s condition. This effectively results in bringing attention to one’s condition so others are aware. However, this only brings awareness to others without indicating better ways to accommodate for one’s needs whether that means facing one when others speak, speaking louder, etc.

Multipurpose Disclosure

i.e. “I don’t hear as well out of this ear. Please speak to me on my left side.”

In comparison to the other two strategies, multipurpose disclosure doesn’t only involve bringing attention to one’s condition but also offers strategies for others to better accommodate for better communication. Whether this includes mentioning which ear hears better or if it involves facing one so one’s hearing aid can better pick up conversations. It was also discovered that by using the multipurpose disclosure strategy, many found others to be of help, support or willing to accommodate for their hearing loss.

Why Disclosure Strategies Are Important

While this study looked to understand what strategies are commonly employed to mention hearing loss, it was also discovered that women who have hearing loss are more than twice as likely to explain their condition than men. No matter what reasons, thanks to this survey, researchers are now working to develop guides for health care providers to better prepare patients with ways to avoid social isolation and stay active in social settings with friends and family.

Senior author Konstantina M. Stankovic, M.D., Ph.D., FACS, an otologic surgeon and researcher at Mass. Eye and Ear and an associate professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School, states, “We think it can be empowering for patients to know that these strategies, and especially the multipurpose disclosure strategy, are available to them…Hearing loss is an invisible disability; however, asking people to slow down or face someone with hearing loss while speaking may improve communication.”

What do you think? Do you think there are better ways to disclose one’s condition? Is it important to mention one’s hearing loss to others?

If you believe you, or a loved one, are experiencing a hearing loss, contact us at Preferred Hearing Centers for a consultation.

Your Top-Rated and New Favorite Hearing Care Providers in Orlando and Winter Springs, FL...

I cannot say enough excellent things about Jaycee and Barbara at Preferred Hearing. The staff is so kind and Jaycee took a lot of time with me to be sure I understood every test and reviewing all my options for hearing devices. I’ve only had my hearing aids one week, but it’s been a life changing week! Best decision I ever made coming to Preferred Hearing. (I am 80 years young again) - Mary Ann A. mary ann a review

Great team at the Winter Springs office. Knowledgeable, professional, friendly, outgoing and that's just the beginning. Barbara at the front desk is a sweetheart. Jaysee is THE professional you want to adjust your hearing aids. He can translate your hearing issues into adjustments that work. Highly recommend this group Hearing Professionals.

- Thomas K.
thomas k review

I was impressed with the great detail of the hearing examination. I was a little skeptical about hearing aids but the staff is very professional and very experienced. I purchased a great set of hearing aids that have changed my life so I can hear so much better! They did not try to upsell me or sell me a pair that was extra expensive. They only showed me what I needed for my hearing aids. I highly recommend Preferred Hearing Centers!

- Hank K.
hank review

I had been with another hearing center and was not getting help with my profound hearing loss. In a last try I went to Preferred Hearing. The hearing testtng was more extensive than Florida Hospital audiologist! My problem was documented and corrected with streaming bluetooth hearing aids. It has made my life so much more fun again. I can watch TV with other humans without the volume blowing them out of the room. I can go to dinner with friends and hear them talking. Highly recommend to anyone with hearing loss!

- Alexis G.
alexis g review

*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Preferred Hearing Centers. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

google review
yelp review
facebook review
birdeye review
preferred hearing centers supports community

Preferred Hearing Centers Proudly Supports Our Local Communities!

We Believe That Everyone Deserves The Gift Of Hearing…

  • Community Education Seminars For Seniors
  • Teaching Elementary Children Hearing Health
  • Christian Help Charity Supporter
  • Supporting Local Health Fairs
transparent logo

Our East Orlando Office
11905 East Colonial Dr.
Orlando, FL 32826

Phone: 407-668-4546

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday: By appointment ONLY

Click For Directions

transparent logo footer

Our South Orlando Office
6044 S. Orange Ave.
Orlando, Florida 32809

Phone: 407-855-9799

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday: By appointment ONLY

Click For Directions

transparent footer

Our Winter Springs Office
1008 Willa Springs Dr. Suite 110
Winter Springs, FL 32708

Phone: 407-637-5891

Hours:
Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Saturday: By appointment ONLY

Click For Directions

transparent logo