6 Tips For Communicating with People with Hearing Loss
Communication is a two-way street. If one member of the conversation suffers from hearing loss, it can complicate what may be considered the ‘simple’ act of communication. Rather than avoid conversation entirely, check out these six tips for communicating with the hearing-impaired.
- Face each other directly. Maintaining visibility of each other’s faces, and conversing in good lightly will make conversation easier. This simple act can give your brain the ability to read facial cues and ready lips. Avoid serious conversations in poorly lit or noisy environments.
- Minimize background noise. Background noise can make it significantly harder for a hearing-impaired person to hear and understand you. Reduce the noise pollution by turning off your music or TV, and stay away from loud air conditioning units.
- Make sure your mouth is visible by keeping your hands away from your face. Avoid putting things in or around your mouth while conversing. A clear view of your mouth can facilitate lip reading.
- Speak slowly and clearly. Try slow down and avoid speaking in an overly complicated way. As tempting as it may be when you get overly enthusiastic, don’t use exaggerated gestures or shout. If your listener hasn’t understood you, try to rephrase what you’re saying. Exaggerate you mouth movements when speaking to make it easier for the person to read your lips.
- Be aware of better ears. If your friend or loved one have better hearing in one ear, try to position yourself accordingly. Focus your speech on the good ear.
- Be aware of body language. If you’re noticing a confused look or hesitation, chances are your listener may not have understood what you’re saying. Pay attention to clues or behaviors that may indicate any confusion or difficulty understanding and follow-up with concise clarity.
Following these tips can make communicating with hearing loss much easier. If you’re concerned about changes to your hearing, call us on (970) 352-2881 to book a consultation with our audiologist today.