Rather a Small Chicken : A guide to hearing loss for family and friends by Pamela Heemskerk is a useful booklet explaining the difficulties of hearing-impaired people and how hearing aids help, but do not restore hearing to normal.

It was interesting to read about Pamela’s experience of wearing hearing aids. While hearing aids increase the volume of the sounds that have diminished in a hearing-impaired person, it can distort some regular sounds. For example, although they can now hear a dog barking, it may sound different from the way it did when their hearing was normal. Some sounds may be uncomfortably loud, especially when hearing aids are new and the person is still getting accustomed to wearing them. I also found it helpful to understand how hearing loss affects a person’s social life and how it can lead to isolation and depression. On pages 21-25 Pam has written a list of helpful tips for hearing people who relate regularly to someone with hearing aids.

Pamela writes in an easy to read style and includes amusing anecdotes of misunderstandings that have occurred due to her hearing loss. It’s from one of these incidents that the booklet derives its name. There is a list of resources, including websites and contact details for support groups at the back of the book.

Overall a useful resource.