Tips for Better Communication With People With Hearing Loss

Communicating with people with hearing loss can be challenging, but there are things you can do to improve those lines of communication. Of course, the first thing to do if you believe you have a hearing loss is to get a hearing evaluation at La Canada Hearing Aids & Audiology. If you believed a loved one has untreated hearing loss, offer to accompany them to the hearing test. If you are on the other side, and you are having difficulties hearing and processing certain sounds, our evaluations are painless, private and comprehensive and can help you secure the treatment you need.

Sadly, recently compiled statistics show 20% of all treatable hearing loss conditions are ignored. This can lead to a variety of physical as well as mental and emotional problems as you struggle to hear. Even if you are being treated for hearing loss, you may find some situations challenging such as conversations in very noisy environments. Many hearing aids are pre-programmed for specific situations although many of the new models also offer options to help distinguish voices. Here are some tips to help improve communication.

Tell others about your hearing loss

If people are aware you have hearing issues, and we all know someone who does, they will understand you may have difficulty hearing on a phone call or carrying on a conversation at a noisy place. It is important to share your experience with family and friends, and if you are in a situation where others need to know – tell them. Researchers recommend using the multipurpose disclosure method when sharing your hearing loss by also providing a suggestion to help improve communicate. You might say, “Please speak up. I am having difficulty hearing you over all this crowd noise.” It is better to do this than to have the other person think you are rudely ignoring them because you didn’t hear what they said.
It also removes the awkwardness if others are laughing at a joke you may not have heard. You don’t want to seem uninterested in what someone is saying or what is happening.

Speak in close proximity

Move closer to people when talking so that you do not struggle with speech recognition. If you have better hearing in one year, ask to stand so they are talking nearer to that side. Additionally, seeing their facial expressions and watching their lips will help you follow the conversation. It is also helpful in this time to disclose your hearing loss, and tell people that you might be lipreading to better aid your understanding. You should disclose your hearing loss even if you have visible hearing aids because many people don’t notice them anymore or they think your hearing is corrected to 100%. Hearing loss is an incredibly common condition, so there’s no need to be self-conscious about wanting to understand the conversation and participate.

Stay calm

People with new hearing aids may experience some anxiety when first being exposed to a social setting. They may worry about what people will think of their new hearing aid or if they will be able to understand conversations. Take a deep breath and focus on the person who is talking. You can practice picking out voices by putting the television on, playing talk radio and letting a video run on your phone with sound all at the same time. Invite some friends over to practice! You are going to be surprised how much visual cues when talking to someone will help. Remember, good lighting is helpful when talking to someone so don’t be afraid to say, “Let’s talk over here,” if the lighting is better in one area of gathering.
If you still have conversational issues with new hearing aids, give our office a call and we can see if there are adjustments that should be made.

Take advantage of your resources

Hearing loss and wearing hearing aids shouldn’t be taken as failing. After all, people with vision impairment use glasses or contacts to correct their eyesight! Familiarize yourself with your hearing devices and their many different features. Many hearing aid manufacturers have apps you can put on your phone to help, they have 24-7 staffed helplines, and they often provide videos you can watch online.

Visit us at La Canada Hearing Aids & Audiology

Our team of hearing specialists at La Canada Hearing Aids & Audiology will help you adjust to your hearing devices. The hearing aids have a 45-day trial period to make sure you are happy. Of course, the first step towards good hearing health is to get a hearing evaluation. Call today for an appointment and start your better hearing experience.