This patient has felt that her hearing has been steadily declining and wondered if she should start learning sign language. Interestingly enough, these questions come up every so often. Sign language is a wonderful way to communicate with those that also know sign language. Also, it’s a great new way to communicate with so many people, especially those having a severe to profound hearing loss. I recall taking sign language as a foreign language in my earlier college years. It was the first year that the state of Ohio recognized sign language as a foreign language in college.
I reassured this patient that her hearing loss will most likely never reach the levels that hearing devices can’t help improve the audibility of speech. However, learning sign language is a very good skill to learn and know. There are many that use sign language to help broaden communication with others. It can be quite easy to learn with dedication and practice. Learning something new is a good thing!