If you have a family member, spouse or friend with hearing loss, there are easy steps you can take to provide them with the support they need on their hearing health journey.
Good Communication Techniques
You can ease conversations and reduce confusion for your loved one with these tips.
- Get your loved one’s attention before you speak to them. Call their name, so they know you’re trying to start a conversation.
- Don’t speak to them while you’re turned away or in another room. It muffles your voice and will affect their ability to localize sounds.
- Never shout to clarify. Talking louder can distort your speech, so speak slowly at a normal volume.
- Use facial expressions and body language. People with hearing loss read lips and take context clues from gestures to understand speech.
- Don’t do all the talking. Let your loved one express their needs and any confusion.
Create an Effective Listening Environment
Talking one-on-one will allow your loved to hear your conversation without straining their ears. Reduce background noise by closing windows and turning down the TV or radio. Avoid talking in the kitchen where clanging dishes and appliances create distractions. Rooms with carpeting, rugs and drapes are good places to talk because the fabrics absorb noise.
Get Involved with Their Hearing Care
You’ll have a better understanding of your loved one’s hearing loss if you participate in their care. Offer to attend their hearing appointments with them and ask the audiologist questions. The more you learn, the better you’ll appreciate your loved one’s condition. Take an online hearing test together or schedule your own hearing evaluation with an audiologist. Educating yourself will give you insight into the process of treating hearing loss.
Living with hearing loss may be extremely frustrating for your loved one. They may not want to ask others to repeat themselves because they feel embarrassed about their condition. Be patient and have honest conversations about their hearing loss. This is an opportunity for both of you to express your concerns in a caring manner.