Tips for Chatting with someone with Hearing Loss
Hearing News • March 14, 2019
“Get the person’s attention before starting to speak in order to give them the best chance of being ready to concentrate on what you are saying.”
Steven McCluskey, Audiologist
If you have a friend, partner or family member with hearing loss then we at Thompson Hearing Services have some tips we’d like to share which might allow you to have a better conversation with them.
Firstly, it is probably important that you understand that even if someone is wearing a hearing aid unfortunately these do not work like magic! Hearing aids amplify all sounds, not just voices so background sounds increase in volume too. Furthermore, hearing aids don’t necessarily make voices sound crisper or clearer so the hearer still has a lot of work to do to understand what is being said.
Here are some suggestions that might help you have a better conversation:
• Get the person’s attention before starting to speak in order to give them the best chance of being ready to concentrate on what you are saying
• Early on in the conversation provide some context as this will make it easier for them to fill in the gaps, for example, if you lead with “Did I tell you who I met in town today?” they will be able to use this context to prepare to hear what you are going to say
• Make sure they can see your lips as this can be helpful for filling in some of the blanks of what they have not managed to hear
• Speak clearly and at a steady pace because it is not just volume that is a challenge for those with hearing loss. If you enunciate clearly and speak at a steady rate they will have the best chance of understanding what you’re saying
• Be aware of your surroundings since background noise is problematic and makes it difficult for someone with hearing loss to hear what you are saying; particularly avoid playing music or having the television on in the background
• If there are more than two of you involved in the conversation make sure you don’t speak at the same time as someone else; also ensure that the speaker faces the person with hearing loss
• Be ready to repeat what you have said and if the person doesn’t get it the second time then think of a way to rephrase it
• Don’t get frustrated – be patient!
If you find that someone you know is struggling to hear you and you think they might be experiencing hearing loss, or if they wear a hearing aid and you think it may not be as effective as you’d expect please contact us and one of our experienced hearing care specialists will be happy to offer support and advice.
We are happy to offer a complimentary hearing health check.