Does someone you care about have hearing loss? There are 48 million people throughout Utah and the rest of the country with hearing loss; chances are you know at least one person.
Communicating with someone who has hearing loss is often frustrating, for both of you. Instead of having them sit in their American Fork home, follow the below tips to learn how to better engage.
Below you’ll find 10 tips to help you have a better and more productive conversation with a hearing impaired individual.
Top 10 Communication Tips
- Maintain eye contact with the hearing impaired individual, facing them directly. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room; visual cues are an important component of successful communication.
- Make sure you have the person’s attention before beginning a conversation. It helps to state their name so they are aware you are addressing them and can focus on your words.
- Speak slowly and concisely. Resist the temptation to shout, which can lead to distorted speech and make your words more difficult to understand. Pause between sentences to ensure what you are saying is understood.
- Do not cover your face with your hands or other objects. Individuals with hearing loss rely on visual cues to help follow the conversation, and sometimes find lip reading helpful.
- Avoid eating and drinking while conversing. Not only is it rude to talk with your mouth full, it can make your words much harder to understand.
- Try to find a quiet area free of background noise. This can be distracting and cause the hearing impaired individual to miss out on much of what you are saying.
- Repeat yourself if necessary. Try using a different word or rephrasing your sentence if it is too confusing. Refrain from complex words and phrases.
- Supplement your conversation by writing down important information. This might include jotting down the topic you will be discussing beforehand.
- Pay attention to the listener. If they look confused, offer to clarify what you have just said.
- Remember, communication is a two-way street. Give the other person a chance to speak, and do not interrupt.
As you can see, these tips are simple. If you suddenly lost your ability to hear, you would want those you cared about to go out of their way to learn how to better include you in the conversations. To learn more tips of how to better communicate with others or to schedule a hearing exam, contact your American Fork audiologist today