Hearing loss can make communication frustrating for everyone. Remember: as frustrated as you may get, it is worse for the person with the hearing loss. But there are some ways of speaking that have been proven to make it easier for people to understand better when they have hearing loss. Here are some ideas on how to make communication clearer for all:
- Please remember that while hearing aids help, they do not make a person’s hearing “normal.” They should make it easier to communicate, but be sure your expectations are reasonable.
- When speaking to a person with hearing loss, the first tip is to just slow down. Pause every now and then.
- If you’re asked to repeat something, say it a bit slower. If this does not work, try saying it using different words.
- Speaking a bit louder might help, but shouting makes it even more difficult. When we yell or shout, our speech gets distorted, but it does not make the important parts of speech any easier to hear.
- Do not cover your mouth when speaking. Look directly at your partner and try not to turn your back.
- When going out to a restaurant, think about how noisy it may be, and recommend some quieter restaurants or go during less busy hours. Trying to listen in a noise-filled environment can be awfully tiring, and speaking up over the noise will strain your voice. Make it easier for everybody.
Please remember to be patient and continue to use the ideas you have read about here. They really do work!