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Tips for Communicating with the Hard of Hearing
Most of the hearing articles out there talk about how to deal with communication when you are a person with hearing loss. In this article, we’re going to discuss how to best communicate with someone else who is hard of hearing. These tips are great for those with friends or loved ones that have hearing loss.
Hearing loss is difficult whether it’s you experiencing it or you have a friend or family member handling a lack of hearing right now.
To be successful with communication, you need to be able to understand how best to do it. There has to be more than one person involved in a conversation; the talker and the receiver. If someone in your life is hard of hearing, you need to learn to actively listen to them and understand other strategies to improve conversation with them. You want to make the atmosphere easy and an ideal one for those with hearing impairments.
When you are talking to someone with hearing loss, you have to learn the right techniques to be respectful – you have to learn not to scream to be heard! With this in mind, here are a few tips that you need for communicating with those who are hard of hearing.
There is a difference between yelling at someone and being clear when you speak. Use sharp pronunciation and enunciate. You shouldn’t mumble and murmur your words, not when they won’t be able to hear you when you do it. Don’t go overboard with shouting or being too loud, and use good topic clues when you’re chatting.
Let them know you’re talking
Before you start talking to someone who is hard of hearing, put your hand on their shoulder and get their attention. You can also say their name and capture their attention this way. If you know that their hearing is worse on one side compared to the other, direct your voice to their hearing side to maximize the chance of them hearing you.
It’s easy to want to repeat yourself, worrying that someone else cannot hear you. Various sounds can be hard for those with hearing loss to process. So, if you know that your friend or family member is having trouble with certain sounds, don’t repeat yourself – instead, rephrase your conversation.
It can take time to get used to talking with someone who has hearing loss, but you must be patient with them. If they need you to talk slowly, do that. Keep your hands down from your face and try not to turn your face away so that they can match the sounds that they can hear to your mouth.
Use the light
Speaking of watching your mouth move when you speak, make a point of being in good lighting areas when talking to someone with hearing loss. The light can help illuminate your face and theirs so they can see you better when you’re talking, which can make a big difference in your ability to have a conversation.
Removing background noise
When you are communicating with someone who finds hearing difficult, you need to try and minimize the amount of noise around you while you talk. Try to be somewhere quiet so that you can talk without too much interruption or talking over others.
Keep eye contact going
Eye contact helps with conversation and communication, so maintain it as much as possible. Your facial expressions are going to be key in your ability to communicate with others. With eye contact, you can better express your emotions as you talk.
It can be patronizing to talk slowly when you are talking to someone who is hard of hearing, but you need to slow things down a little so that you can be heard. So many phrases and words sound similar that your friend or relative needs to be given a chance to hear you. Going slowly doesn’t mean talking as if the other person is dumb; they’re hard of hearing is all.
Contact us today
If you are experiencing hearing loss, or someone around you is experiencing it, you should speak to a hearing instrument specialist today. You can get the best possible advice when you have an expert on hand at the end of an appointment. When you call Stanwood Hearing on this phone number, 360-502-4644, you can book to see a hearing instrument specialist and gain some understanding about your hearing and what to do next. Our experts will speak to you and you can get the best support for your hearing loss.