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Lifestyle & Management
Strategies to Improve Communication
Let others know that you have some hearing loss and tell them what they can do to improve communication. You might also be able to use lip reading to help you communicate. Just make sure you face the person directly and ask them to speak slowly and clearly, enunciating each word.
You can pick up cues from the context of a conversation to identify the meaning. Also watch any gestures the person makes; this can also help with interpreting what they’re saying.
Sometimes, you need the person to write or type the information. You might carry a pad and pen with you, or even use a touch screen phone or tablet computer for this purpose.
Communicating with a Hearing-Impaired Person
Even if your hearing is fine, your friend’s or family member’s may not be. Here are some tips for improving communication:
- Ask the person about the best way to communicate with him or her
- Obtain the person’s attention before speaking
- Eliminate background noise and distractions as much as possible
- Ensure your listener can see your lips:
- Speak face-to-face in the same room
- Don’t hide your lips with your hands or other objects
- Have the light shine directly on the your face, not behind you
- Speak slowly and clearly, but don’t shout
- Speak towards the ear that has better hearing (if hearing loss is different in each ear)
- Rephrase your comment if the listener doesn’t understand the first time, or if a reply doesn’t make sense
- Spell words out, use gestures, or write or type the information
- Have the listener repeat back what he or she heard to avoid misunderstandings
- Tell your communication partner that you have difficulty hearing
- Make sure that room in which you are communicating are well-lit, free of noise, and that you sit within close range to the speaker
- Make sure your communication partner is in the same room when speaking with you.
Updated: March 2012
Posted: March 2012