Let’s Amplify (and not just with Hearing Aids)!

Gael Hannan
May 22, 2024


Amplification (abridged from Oxford Dictionary)

  • the process of increasing the volume of sound, especially using an amplifier (such as hearing aids or cochlear implants.)
  • the action of enlarging upon or adding detail to a story (such as telling others about our hearing loss and articulating our needs.)
  • the action of making something more marked or intense (such as increasing our intention, desire, and willingness to enjoy better communication.)

For people with hearing loss who communicate through the spoken word, hearing aids and cochlear implants are often the first tool of better hearing. They amplify sounds. They make sounds clearer. They often tell us where those sounds are coming from. And, hooray, they are advancing in their ability to weed out background noise!

We need and love amplification! But to live more successfully with our hearing loss, we need to amplify more than mere sounds and words.

We need to amplify:  

Our hearing loss story. Once we have it, hearing loss touches every corner of our lives – it becomes part of who we are, threaded into our story. We need to amplify a positive view of ourselves as this person with hearing loss. We are not lesser people; but life has become different.

Our understanding of hearing loss. We may not know what caused our hearing loss. But when we have a better grasp of how hearing works, what makes it not work and how that affects our communication, the scary and confusing unknown becomes known and understood. Then we can start to take charge of our communication success and to explore new attitudes, new behaviors and new technologies.

Our acceptance that hearing loss is real in our life. We can’t ignore it or escape it. It doesn’t go away and by trying to deny it, we only intensify the stress it imposes.

Our willingness to let others know what we need. Other people aren’t mind readers. They need to know what we need them from them. Yes, they will forget it from time to time, because they simply can’t always know whether we hear and understood in any given moment.

Forgiveness and Gratitude. We need to amplify forgiveness of others for their frustrating, imperfect communication (and to forgive ourselves when we make the same mistakes). We can feel gratitude for those small moments in our day when communication sparkles, or our device picks up a clear voice.

Our commitment to helping our Hearing Care Professional to help us. If we resist their expertise, their job of helping us becomes harder. We can respect their knowledge and ask them to respect our lived experience. Both parties need to ask questions, discuss the answers and find a path forward, together. Collaboration works.

Our curiosity about how other people succeed with hearing loss. Who better to learn from than other people walking the same path, wearing the same shoes? Reach out, support is waiting. Oh, the stuff we’ll learn!

When we can shift our view of hearing loss and amplify our intention to live more successfully, we will hear better and communicate better – bit by bit, or in great strides.

C’mon, let’s amplify!

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