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Tips for Communicating with Someone Who Has Hearing Loss
Communication is important when it comes to building strong relationships with others. Having a conversation with someone requires you to pay attention, focus on what the person is saying and you need to be patient. For someone with hearing loss, it can be much more difficult to communicate with other people.
When someone has hearing loss and a person is speaking too quickly, it can be hard for them to keep up with the conversation. To make communicating with someone who has hearing loss easier, whether this is you, a family member, or a friend, here are some tips that you can follow.
Talking to someone with hearing loss
Sometimes the room you are in can play a big role in how easy or difficult it is to communicate. To help improve communication with someone who has hearing loss, you can pick a place to meet that has minimal background noise. People who have hearing loss can often find it difficult to filter out background noise and may not be able to hear you properly if a place is too loud.
If a room is small and does not have carpet or curtains then it can distort voices. When at home, if the house is busy and you’d like to have a conversation with the person who has hearing loss, offer to go to a different room where it will be quieter.
People with hearing loss will often rely on lip-reading or facial expressions to understand what a person is saying. They may also look at your body language and hand gestures, so it’s important to pick a place that has plenty of light so they can see you clearly. This will help improve communication.
If you are meeting up in a group, make sure that the person who is hard of hearing can see everyone’s faces. For example, if you are going out for a meal, pick a restaurant with a round table to make it easier. It’s also important not to talk over one another as this can make it hard for the person with hearing loss to follow the conversation.
Important things to remember
When having a conversation with someone who has hearing loss, there are a few things you need to remember to help improve communication.
Get their attention
If you want to get the attention of someone who has hearing problems, you can say their name at the start of the sentence, or give them a gentle tap or a wave. Remember not to shout or clap at them. Not only is this rude but some people with hearing loss are more sensitive to loud noises and it will just distort what they are hearing.
Always try to speak to them face to face as this will help them understand what you are saying either by reading your lips or by analyzing your facial expressions. Try not to speak with your head turned as this can make it difficult for them to know what you are saying.
Speak clearly and slowly
If you are someone who talks quite quickly, you need to learn how to slow your speech down. This will help the person who has hearing loss understand what you are saying at a pace that enables them to follow along.
Always be patient
Try not to get frustrated with someone if they mishear what you are saying, chances are they are trying their hardest to understand you. Someone with hearing loss will appreciate it when you are being patient with them.
Rephrase your wording
There will be times when they won’t hear what you are saying correctly, and if this happens, try to rephrase your wording to help them understand better. Sometimes, if you repeat what you have just said, they may ask you to repeat yourself again.
Ask them what they need
To help improve communication you can always ask the person what they need or if there is anything you can do to make communicating easier. It could be something as simple as writing down what you are saying on a piece of paper if they can’t understand you, or using gestures with your hands.
A lot of communication problems can be improved with someone who has a hearing loss if they wear a well-fitted hearing aid. Speaking to a qualified audiologist here at Clifton Springs Hearing Center may be able to help, so call us today at 315-496-4314.