Normally, people with a severe hearing loss tend to self-isolate due to the strain it puts on their brain when trying to listen and interact with others. Today’s implemented nationwide social distancing is impacting all of us, but it can be especially difficult for those with hearing loss.
For those with hearing loss who already have hearing aids, it can feel a little reminiscent of the times prior to getting the devices but for those who have yet to seek treatment it, it has a compounding effect. During times like these when we are encouraged to be further apart from each other to prevent the spread of COVID-19, our friends and family members with hearing loss are feeling lonelier than ever.
Here are some tips from Duke Health for those who are struggling with hearing loss while being forced to stay home:
- Use video calls to communicate with your family and practice listening skills.
- Put on closed captioning for TV and use TV listening devices.
- If your tinnitus seems worse during this time, use sound therapy or practice relaxation techniques. The American Tinnitus Association has many useful coping tips.
- If you are working from home or participating in remote classes, be sure all accommodations you may need are provided. Reach out to your employer’s human resources department or your school’s disability office for further help.
- Contact your local hearing health professional if you need help during this time. We can provide guidance!
Lastly, if you know anyone struggling during this time, be proactive by reaching out to them just to see how they are doing. Ask them what they are doing to keep themselves occupied, if they need help with anything or simply just to chat. It is important that we come together and help each other during a time when we are doing our best to flatten the curve and save as many lives as possible. We can all put on our capes and be heroes by putting in a little extra effort.