Tips For Communicating With The Hard Of Hearing
Experiencing hearing loss can feel like a big change in your life. But it’s not something that can be a bad thing. Instead of seeing hearing loss in your life as a burden, it’s time to work with it. And you can do that with the help of your audiologist and a few simple tips. Whether you’re someone that is experiencing hearing loss personally, or a loved one is, then there are things that you can do to grow with the changes. One of which is working on communication.
Communicating with the hard of hearing doesn’t have to be testing or trying. It can be an enjoyable experience, when you’re willing to make the right adjustments. You may find that your audiologist can really help you to make this experience more seamless. But working with hearing aids, here are the tips that can help you to communicate with the hard of hearing.
To start with, it’s important to make sure that you’re facing them. When you’re in conversation, the person that you’re talking needs to know that you’re addressing them. Therefore, if you can get their attention by calling their name first or even touching their arm so that they know you’re talking to them, it will really help. And make sure that you’re always maintaining eye contact, it will help. Also, be sure not to turn away during the conversation or cover your mouth so that they are able to lip read if necessary.
Check your environment
Next up, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings too. If there is a ton of background noise like a loud radio or TV, it can make the conversation harder. But also, you may find that if you’re in loud places like restaurants, there’s a lot of noise you need to work through. So, sitting in a well-lit area can help, rather than having light behind you, so that your face is lit up.
Check your distance
It’s also important for you to think about your distance and if you’re too close or too far away. You’ll often find that if you’re too far or too close then it affects the ability to lip read or the performance of a hearing aid. And, while you’re there, try your best not to be too distracting, like touching your face hat can distract from the conversation.
Speak clearly and slowly
The next thing that will really help in your conversations, is to make sure that you’re speaking as clearly and slowly as you can. If you’re mumbling it can be hard for the listener to understand. With hearing loss, it can help for you to define the topic first, and then talk as normally as you can. Don’t over pronounce or shout or be too animated. Also avoid having anything in your mouth, like gum, that can be distracting.
And remember to pace yourself as much as you can. Speak naturally and if there are more than two of your in the conversation, take turns to speak. Not too fast or slow, just naturally. And remember that it’s okay for you to use body language or facial expressions to convey what you’re saying.
You may feel like you shouldn’t repeat yourself when you’re talking to someone that has hearing loss, but it can help. First, you should aim to rephrase what you’re saying. Sometimes it’s easier to rephrase than repeat. But if they are still struggling to understand, then repeat the main words as that can help. Choosing the right vocabulary can really help to keep things flowing.
Write it down
Finally, you may find that writing it down can really help the conversation. They can then see the words and get back on track. If you don’t have a pen to hand but you do have a phone, you could send a text message or download an app that will type out what you’re saying to help with healing loss in that conversation. Sometimes just seeing the words written down can keep the conversation flowing and to avoid as many disruptions as possible.
When you follow these simple steps, you should find that it’s so much easier for you to communicate with the hard of hearing. Hearing loss can be hard to deal with for people, but it doesn’t have to make communication harder. And not only that, you may find that an audiologist can really help you to make communication easier by assessing your hearing and providing the best possible solution.
To learn more about Advanced Audiology Services LLC and how you can better communicate with someone who has hearing loss, call our office at 810-388-9400.