Hearing loss is challenging for the people who suffer from it as well as those who want to communicate with them. Fortunately, by using a few simple techniques, it’s possible to have clearer, more understandable conversations with hearing-impaired friends, relatives, and co-workers. Here are four tips for communicating with people who have hearing loss.
Get Their Attention First
If a hearing-impaired person doesn’t realize that you’ve started to speak to them, they may miss the entire beginning of the conversation. You can avoid this by making sure you have their attention before starting to speak. Saying their name, gesturing, or touching them lightly on the arm or shoulder can accomplish this.
Maintain Eye Contact
People with hearing loss often rely on your facial movements and expressions to understand what you’re saying. Therefore, it’s essential to remain face-to-face with them and maintain eye contact throughout your conversation. This tip will also help you to read their expressions and to see when they may be confused.
Speak Clearly and Evenly
You can also help a person with hearing loss understand you by speaking clearly, evenly, and with enunciation. It may be helpful to raise your voice slightly and, if the listener has one, to speak into their better-hearing ear. Shouting is unnecessary, however, as it can distort the way your mouth moves and make reading your lips impossible.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Even people without hearing loss can struggle to have clear, meaningful conversations in loud environments. When speaking to a hearing-impaired person, consider the noise level of your surroundings. If there are too many auditory or even visual distractions, you may want to move the conversation to a quieter setting.
Hearing loss presents many challenges to those affected by it and their friends, family members, and co-workers, but it doesn’t have to be debilitating. At Associated Hearing Professionals, we offer St. Louis-area patients a range of hearing loss treatments and services, including several different types of hearing aids. To learn more about how we can improve your hearing or schedule an appointment, contact us today at 314-725-2686.