Tips for Communicating with Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects people of all ages. Living with hearing loss can have an impact on both your social and professional life. Fortunately, there are treatments for hearing loss and an audiologist will be able to recommend a suitable solution depending on the patient.
Hearing aids are usually the most effective treatment for hearing loss and can improve the wearer’s way of life significantly. If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss a visit to an audiologist is highly recommended. As well as diagnosing and treating the issue, they’ll be able to provide advice on how to improve communication. Here are a few tips for communicating with hearing loss.
Talking face to face
Talking face to face is often easier as the person experiencing hearing loss has the opportunity to lip-read. You can speak to your audiologist for advice on how to improve your lip-reading skills. To improve communication in person, ensure you face each other so you can lip-read and view expressions more clearly. Let the other person know you have hearing loss and explain to them that it’s easier for you if they try to speak as normally as possible, without exaggerating their lip movements or pronunciation, for example.
If you’re communicating with someone with hearing loss, remember to get their attention first before you start talking. This way you’ll avoid them missing out on any parts of the conversation. Be prepared to be patient and respect the chosen style of communication of the person experiencing hearing loss. If you’re having difficulties understanding each other, move to a quieter space with less background noise if possible.
Communicating without a visual
Communicating without a visual of the other person might be more challenging. For this reason, it’s even more important to reduce any background noise. If you have hearing loss, speak to an audiologist about assisted hearing devices that will help you when you don’t have a visual. These include microphones or hearing aids.
If you’re in public and attempting to communicate wearing a face covering, ensure the other person is aware that you have hearing loss. Explain that you’ll need them to make an effort to speak clearly and be patient. This could be useful if you’re dealing with a salesperson or on public transport, for instance. It might also be helpful to be prepared with a pen and paper or electronic device such as a smartphone to write down messages if necessary.
Video or voice calls
Now that telecommuting has become a more permanent solution for many businesses, it’s likely that you’ll need to take part in video or voice calls remotely. The best thing to do is explain to the person organizing the meeting in order to prepare everyone involved. There are a few ways you can help to ensure these calls go more smoothly.
Ensure each participant is set up in a well-lit area, so you can see them and lip-read. Let them know not to cover their mouth accidentally while talking, and not to look away from the camera.
Follow meeting etiquette correctly and use helpful features on video conferencing software, such as the raise your hand option. This will prevent people from interrupting or talking over one another. Use a close captions function, if there is one. Invest in a decent headset and microphone and ask others to mute their microphone when not speaking to reduce unnecessary background noise.
Speak to the meeting organizer and ask them politely to stick to the planned agenda, and to give you a copy of this to follow if possible. This will help the meeting go ahead with fewer delays or misunderstandings.
How an audiologist can help
If you or a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, it’s essential to have your hearing tested by an audiologist. They will be able to get to the root of the problem and suggest the appropriate treatment. An audiologist will also offer advice on living with hearing loss according to the specific needs and lifestyle of the patient. They will be able to recommend other useful solutions such as lip-reading classes and support groups.
Audiologists are also trained to custom fit different types of hearing aids. You can choose the style and features that best meet your requirements. At Audiology and Hearing Aid Center, our audiologists help our clients get the confidence they need to communicate effectively at work and socially. If you would like to learn more about Audiology and Hearing Aid Center contact us at 920-969-1768.