Tips for Better Conversations

Follow these tips to have better conversations with friends or loved ones who suffer from hearing loss.

13 Tips for Talking to Someone With Hearing Loss

  1. Face the hard of hearing person directly, on the same level whenever possible
  2. See that the light is shining on your face, not in the eyes of the hard of hearing person
  3. Be aware that many sounds are distorted to the hard of hearing person. They may hear you, but still have difficulty understanding some words
  4. Do not talk from another room
  5. Recognize the fact that everyone, especially the hard of hearing, hears less well and understands less when tired or ill
  6. Speak slowly and clearly but without shouting. Words spoken a bit slowly and not run together too rapidly are clearer than those that are shouted or exaggerated
  7. Keep your hands away from your face while talking
  8. Your speech will be more difficult to understand if you are eating, chewing, smoking , etc while talking.
  9. If the hard of hearing person has difficulty understanding a particular phrase or word, try to find a different way of saying the same thing rather than repeating the original words over and over.
  10. Pause between sentences and phrases; wait to make sure you have been understood before going on
  11. Avoid sudden changes of topic. If the subject is changed, tell the hard of hearing person, “We are talking about___________________now.”
  12. If you are giving specific information such as time or place, be sure it is repeated back to you by the hard of hearing person. Many numbers and words sound alike.
  13. The hard of hearing person may be very sensitive to loud sounds. This reduced tolerance for loud sounds is a common occurrence in impaired hearing.

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