Hearing Loss Tips

How can I effectively communicate with hearing loss?

1. Minimize background noises

It is difficult to hear conversations when there is a lot of background noise present. To better hear what someone is saying, it is a good idea to navigate to a room that is more quiet and has less background noise, which includes the television, kitchen noise, loud conversations, music, etc.

2. Use face-to-face communication

Face-to-face communication is one of the most important ways to have effective conversations. You need to make sure you are in the same room, face your speaker without any obstacles between you, and make sure their back is not to you. 

3. Rephrase a misheard statement instead of repeating it

As a speaker, if the listener does not understand you, do not repeat exactly what you said. Rephrase your question or statement so they may have a better chance of understanding you. For example, if the person you are talking to did not understand your question of “What did you think of the meal?”, rephrase and say “Tell me about the food.” instead. 

4. Summarize what you may have heard

Sometimes we miss what people say to us, and it is natural to respond by asking “huh?’ or “what?”.  This may be frustrating to the speaker, so instead, try to rephrase what you think they may have said. For example, if someone asked you “What did you think of the meal?” and you didn’t exactly understand, try saying “Are you asking about my meal?” instead.

5. Locate to environments with soft surfaces 

Sounds have a tendency to bounce off walls and other hard surfaces, which can echo noise, making it even louder. The best environment for conversations has rugs, curtains, couches, and other soft surfaces for sound to be absorbed.