Hearing loss can definitely make communicating with others a more challenging process.
While it helps if the person we’re conversing with practices good communication techniques such as facing us, making eye contact, speaking clearly without shouting, and not covering their face, communication goes both ways.
Associates in Hearing HealthCare in Barrington and Marlton, New Jersey offers the following tips to improve communicating with hearing loss:
- Be open about your hearing loss: When speaking with someone new, it helps to let them know about your hearing loss. We recommend making it known during the introduction process, so they understand if you must ask them to repeat themselves.
- Make them comfortable: If you approach your hearing loss in a lighthearted way, they’ll be more comfortable with it. Humor can help at putting them at ease, so don’t be afraid to casually explain that if you look at them funny when they say something, it’s probably just because you didn’t hear.
- Let them know how they can help: Let the person know if they can do something to help you better understand them, whether it be sitting on your right side or speaking slightly louder than normal without shouting.
- Maintain your energy: Because hearing can take a lot of concentration, you’ll want to approach your conversations with plenty of alertness. Being well rested, getting exercise and eating a balanced diet will help you feel your best and set the stage for successful communication.
- Use non-verbal cues: If you’re having trouble following the conversation, try cupping your hand to your ear or leaning in closer to help the person understand you can’t hear them.
- Try to relax and enjoy the company: It’s OK if you can’t understand every word. If you manage your expectations and be grateful for what you can hear, you’ll likely have a better experience.