If you, or someone you know, deals with hearing loss, these tips may help improve the quality and ease of your communication.
- Face the person you are talking to. Don't try to converse from a different room or with your back turned. It is easier to hear what people say when you can see what they are saying. Visual clues, like facial expressions and lip movements, help listeners understand your words.
- Stand where your face is well lit. This makes it easier to see your facial expressions and read your lips.
- Try not to talk while chewing or smoking. It makes it harder to understand what you are saying, and difficult for others to read your lips.
- If you talk while reading the newspaper, or lean your cheek on your hand while talking, this will also make lip-reading difficult for others.
Speak at a natural pace:
- No need to shout. It’s fine to speak at a normal conversational level when talking with someone who wears hearing aids. Most aids amplify a normal level of speech. If you shout, it may be too loud or even painful.
- Try not to talk too fast. Speak naturally, but pronounce your words more clearly. This will help slow your speech. Be careful not to overdo it.
- If you are having trouble being understood, try rephrasing your sentence rather than just repeating yourself. Some words are more easily heard or lip-read than others.
- When you are in a group, take turns talking and try not to interrupt each other. If the conversation changes suddenly, try to inform the person with the hearing loss; when they know what the subject is, it is easier to understand what is being said.
Reduce background noise:
- Turn off the television and close any open windows to reduce any noise from traffic.
- Move closer to your listener so your voice is louder. This will also make your face and lips easier to read.
- Try to find somewhere quieter to talk.