Tips on Communicating with Hearing Loss
Communication is a two-way street. And when hearing loss is in the mix, communicating can be frustrating for everyone involved. Here are some handy things to keep in mind:
If you have hearing loss:
Tell people. Don’t make them guess.People can’t accommodate you if they don’t know you’re having trouble.
If you have hearing aids, wear them.You didn’t spend all that money just to avoid being seen wearing a hearing aid. Right?
Watch people when they speak.In addition to shaping words with their mouths, people use a lot of visual cues that can help you follow what they’re saying
Move conversations away from background noise.This can be as easy as stepping outside or into another room during a party or other event.
If someone you know has hearing loss:
Get their attention before speaking to them.Don’t assume they can hear you, if they aren’t in a position to look directly at you.
Look at them when you speak.People with hearing loss tend to get good at reading lips and other visual cues if you speak to them face-to-face.
Speak slowly and naturally. Don’t over-emphasize pronunciation or speak at an unusually loud volume. A clear, natural relaxed flow of conversation is best.
Provide a hearing-friendly atmosphere.Try to keep background music to an unobtrusive volume. Setting up an area where guests can have a quiet conversation is another good idea.