Deaf & Hearing Loss Awareness

Protecting your hearing

It is important to protect our hearing as much as we can and a few ways in which we can do this are:

Avoid prolonged exposure to loud noise

Consider your exposure in day to day life including while using transport or undertaking social or leisure activities.

Keep the volume down

Think about when you’re using devices how loud you have them, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says to keep the volume below 60% of the devices maximum.

Monitor your sound levels

You can do this using apps or by choosing devices which have built-in safe listening features.

Use headphones that are well-fitted and noise cancelling

This reduces the need to increase the volume in noisy surroundings.

Use earplugs in loud situations

Living with hearing loss

For people who are completely or profoundly deaf it can be really important to find alternative ways for them to communicate, some examples are sign language, finger spelling and lip reading.

The definition of sign language given by is ‘a visual means of communicating using gestures, facial expression, and body language’. In the UK the most common form of sign language is British Sign Language and this has it’s own grammatical structure and it isn’t dependant or strongly related to spoken English.

Finger spelling is different from sign language as it’s a method of spelling words using hand movements. The finger spelling alphabet is used as part of sign language as a whole to spell out words, names, people or places which don’t have their own specific sign.

Another option is learning to lip-read and this is a skill that takes some practice. Lip reading can be tricky because it depends a lot on the quality of speech the person talking has and many words can look very similar when they are spoken.

Some tips on using lip reading in social situations:

Ask the person to look at you when they talk

Ask them to talk clearly and slightly slower

Find a quiet place to practice in

Don’t be afraid to ask people to repeat what
they said or ask them to write it down