Living with a loved one who suffers from hearing loss can be frustrating. However, there are several things that you can do – as a speaker – to improve your communication with the listener who suffers from hearing loss.
- Get the listener’s attention by saying the listener’s name or using physical contact. Wait for a verbal response or eye contact before you start speaking.
- Face the listener directly and in close proximity. Lip movements and gestures add important information.
- Do not talk from another room or at the listener’s back.
- Speak in a normal, strong voice without shouting or exaggerating lip movements. Light should be shining on the speaker’s face rather than behind him or her.
- Speak in complete sentences rather than isolated words, providing additional information.
- Decrease background noise during conversation. Mute the television, roll up the car window, turn off the running water or fan, etc.
- If you think the listener didn’t catch what you said, be sure and ask “did you get all of that?” or “did you hear me?” This will make the listener feel more at ease about asking you to confirm what you just said.
If even after following these tips you experience trouble communicating with your loved one, it may be time to start a conversation about visiting an audiologist to have your loved one’s hearing tested. The Oregon Clinic has seven board-certified audiologists who are trained to diagnose, manage, and treat problems relating to hearing and balance.