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
- Face the hard of hearing person directly, on the same level whenever possible
- See that the light is shining on your face, not in the eyes of the hard of hearing person
- Be aware that many sounds are distorted to the hard of hearing person. They may hear you, but still have difficulty understanding some words
- Do not talk from another room
- Recognize the fact that everyone, especially the hard of hearing, hears less well and understands less when tired or ill
- 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
- Keep your hands away from your face while talking
- Your speech will be more difficult to understand if you are eating, chewing, smoking , etc while talking.
- 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.
- Pause between sentences and phrases; wait to make sure you have been understood before going on
- Avoid sudden changes of topic. If the subject is changed, tell the hard of hearing person, “We are talking about___________________now.”
- 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.
- 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.