7 Misconceptions About People With Hearing Loss

There are many more misconceptions. These are just a starting point for a conversation.

1. Everyone with a hearing loss uses sign language.

Hearing loss is a spectrum, and people with hearing loss don’t all communicate the same way. How a person communicates depends on a variety of factors, such as the person’s degree of hearing loss, whether a hearing aid or cochlear implant is used, the age the person lost his/her hearing, the level of auditory training received, and the nature of the listening situation. The majority of people with hearing loss do not use sign language, but it is still important to those whose communication depends on it.

2. Increasing the sound volume will enable a person with hearing loss to understand what is said.

There is a point where increasing the volume begins to distort the quality of the sound. To obtain sufficient clarity, people with residual hearing may require sound to be transmitted from the microphone directly to their ear via an assistive listening system such as an induction loop. Sitting close to the speaker can assist the listener but is not a substitute for an assistive listening system. Yelling and over-articulating distorts the natural rhythm of speech and makes lip reading more difficult.


A variation of this article was previously published in The Physician’s blog: https://thephysiciansblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/05/7-misconceptions-about-people-with-hearing-loss/?preview_id=36974&preview_nonce=66549d2f33&post_format=standard&preview=true

and Hearing Health: http://online.qmags.com/HH1210?fs=2&pg=40&mode=2#pg40&mode2