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Ten Commandments of Hearing Loss

My mother (owner of Baker Hearing Aids in Macon, GA) has a big stack of these commandments by the door of her office and suggests that her clients take as many copies as they would like so they can give them to friends and family! Just because someone’s hearing is being improved by a hearing aid, it does not necessarily mean that they will be able to now hear everything in the “normal” hearing range. The method of hearing loss, the duration of the loss, the extremity of the loss and many, many more factors may help us drastically improve hearing, while still leaving much to be desired.

For example (completely hypothetical numbers), a patient with hearing loss could find that they only understand 2 out of every 10 spoken words in a hearing test at “normal” volume. Perhaps with their specific range of loss, with good hearing aid programming and amplification, they are able to understand 9 out of 10 words. That is a HUGE improvement! One that will absolutely prove life altering, however, family and friends have to be understanding and patient as this person will still miss an average of 1 out of every 10 words. Now if this person can see your body language and read your lips they may get full understanding. Read these commandments so that you can do everything possible to support your friend with treated or untreated hearing loss. Oh, and the questions, “Are you wearing your hearing aids?!” can be extremely hurtful to someone who IS wearing them and is just not hearing perfectly.

Update: I originally created this image in 2014 when I was running a blog called InMyGoodEar.com. I have recently updated the image to reflect my current business and blog and I do own rights to this image as I created it. I have been so very pleased to see this image go viral on social media and hope that it can help a loved one to be a better support system.

Do you have another commandment to add to the list? Do you wish your family and friends knew these rules? Feel free to share this list!

Hi! I’m Madison. I’m a Hearing Instrument Specialist ( like my mother ). I’m observing, learning, absorbing and sharing as I become a part of this beautiful community. I want to know you! So please leave me comments if my posts are meaningful to you or teach you something new, and feel free to tweet me at @LevineHearing!

Cheers!

13 thoughts on “Ten Commandments of Hearing Loss

  1. Thanks for making these ‘commandments’ freely available. We operate a facility near Lake Macquarie, NSW, for the benefit of folks who need a break away from stress, or wish to take time out from the routine of caring for someone with a disability, or have a disability themselves. We call it a lake-front retreat! I will be scattering copies around as part of my changing ‘decor’ so that our guests will be reminded of the needs of others.

    1. Hi Heather, I am so glad you found them! I love that they will be shared. Thanks for letting me know!

  2. Hi,
    It looks like my first comment was eaten up by the server or Internet (Sent inadvertently, no acknowledgement).
    1) I am a Nurse who is the Online Editor of Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal’s website. I would like permission to reproduce “Ten Commandments the Hearing Impaired Wish You Knew”, with credit and links, in our Clinical Tips. I can say professionally, and personally, they are of great value and need to be better known.
    2) Your website has a dead link to the graphic, albeit the link from Starkey Hearing to their Facebook mirror of it is valid.
    3) This is meant in kindness rather than criticism. Many hearing impaired persons also have some vision difficulties. Your website is In the currently-fashionable Light Grey Text upon a Bright White Background and is *extremely* hard to read, especially with a bright screen, high resolution, or a small screen; any glare compounds this. I’d be grateful if you consider using a crisp typeface “font”) upon a pastel or colored background. There will be a greatly enhanced readability {much like a good hearing air for hearing problems}. Your users will find it much easier.
    4) Thank you for providing the “Ten Commandments the Hearing Impaired Wish You Knew.” It’s very important for it to be widely distributed.
    Sincerely, Tom Trimble, RN

  3. Hi,
    I’d also like to post the image of Ten Commandments the Hearing Impaired Wish You Knew to Twitter areas followed by Emergency Nursing and Emergency Medicine folks. That would ensure wider dissemination of this useful document.

  4. Hi Madison,
    I am reaching out to see if you would mind if we used part of your “10 commandments” post on the Starkey Hearing blog (www.starkey.com/blog). Of course, we would credit and provide a link to you and your blog and also a link to Baker Hearing Aids. We actually shared it on our FB page recently (https://www.facebook.com/starkeyhearing/photos/pb.287397458800.-2207520000.1414008428./10151859366348801/?type=3&theater) and some of our fans added some suggestions so we were going to create another list.
    Just let me know.
    Best,
    Ryan Mathre
    Starkey Hearing
    ryan_mathre@starkey.com

  5. My boss/future mother in-law, wants to put this up in the cafe I work in for all staff and residents to see. may have to add one about holding conversations off while til is opening or while using the coffee machine. 🙂 this is truly lovely though.

  6. Great article, its important to be understanding and considerate of people. It’s not like they want to not hear you.

    1. Great point, Ray! People with hearing loss did not purposefully cause the damage. They may have been negligent in using ear protection, or never have been educated on how and why to protect their hearing, they could have been born with a loss, have hereditary loss, or have even suffered an illness or accident that caused it. Regardless of how it happened, treating them with frustration and blame won’t fix anything. Following these commandments is the first step to be proactive in helping the person stay connected in your conversation.

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