Living with Injury - Resiliency
For Service members or Veterans living with hearing loss or tinnitus, there are valuable resources, information, and tips available to help you cope with auditory injuries in your day-to-day life. Since hearing loss may interfere with communication, it’s important to take steps to lessen the impact during interactions with others.
These steps include:
- Learn patience. Patience and understanding are essential when communicating.
- Set expectations. There may be a cognitive delay in offering responses to simple questions. Inform friends and family about this symptom, so they can allow more time for responses.
- Communicate about communication. Tell the person if you’re having difficulty hearing or understanding. Let them know if you’re frustrated or anxious, so they can repeat their statement or question.
- Laugh. React to the humor in certain situations. It can help to reduce frustrations and strengthen relationships.
- Offer reinforcement. Point out “what works” and acknowledge when individuals make concerted efforts to enhance communication or overcome barriers. Provide feedback that motivates them to continue and offer feedback that can help them improve.
On the job, dealing with the impact of hearing loss takes a positive attitude and open communication with colleagues. It also involves seeking the right medical treatment and assistive devices. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Labor provide information and resources about navigating the workplace to help those living with hearing loss overcome challenges and maximize career potential.
Support groups are also a great resource to find encouragement and inspiration from others with hearing impairments. They’re great forums for problem solving and mutual support.
Keep in mind that living with hearing loss can be an adjustment for the one who experiences it, as well as for family, friends, and colleagues. There are many valuable resources, information, and technologies available to help. It’s important for Service members and Veterans with auditory injuries to be resilient and live well.