Hearing Loss: Tips For Better Communication For Everyone
Relationships can really suffer when a person is dealing with hearing loss. However, this doesn't have to be the case for you. While your communication may be slightly impaired due to your inability to hear 100% clearly, there are steps that you can take – as well as steps that others can take – to help improve the lines of communication to ensure that they are not damaged and that your relationships remain strong. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
For Individuals Dealing with the Hearing Loss
- Pay close attention to a person's face as they are speaking to you. When a person speaks, they almost always tend to give off visual cues that you can use to decipher what they are saying and how they are feeling.
- Always ensure that you are directly facing the individual that you are speaking to, especially when they are talking to you. While it may make sense that you would want to direct your ears toward them as they are speaking words to you, you need to be looking at them so that you can be reading their lips and picking up on visual cues in the event that you don't happen to hear a word that they speak clearly.
- Always wear your hearing devices if you have them. Some people don't wear them they fear looking old, but you'll look worse if you have to constantly ask others to repeat what they just said. Plus, with the technological advancements, hearing devices have come a long way.
- Try to be patient. It's natural to become frustrated with yourself as well as others. However, as long as you stay calm, remain focused, and keep giving it your all, your hearing loss doesn't have to define your life.
For Those Communicating with Hearing Loss Sufferers
- Try to always speak slowly and clearly. However, it is important that you avoid shouting as well as exaggerating your speech. Otherwise, this could lead to the other individual misunderstanding what you're trying to say and they could become frustrated.
- Because visual cues are so important to the individual comprehending what you're trying to say, it is crucial that you keep your hands away from your face and mouth as you speaking to them.
- Don't get frustrated if they need you to repeat something. This is very common and should be expected. Simply be prepared for this and repeat anything as necessary.
- While all of this can be extremely frustrating, remember that it is just as maddening – if not more so – for them. So, stay patient and compassionate.
For more hearing loss communication advice and to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in hearing devices, speak to your audiologist, such as Mark Montgomery MD FACS.