Better hearing requires more than simply hearing aids.
Better communication strategies can smooth the period of adjustment required when individuals start wearing hearing aids, and can help reassure both the person with hearing loss and their family members or loved ones that they’re being understood clearly.
If you suspect or know that the person you are speaking with has a hearing loss, please consider the following tips to enhance communication:
- Sit or stand within 3 to 6 feet to maximize audibility.
- Remain at eye level to foster visual cues.
- Gain the person’s attention before speaking.
- Use facial expressions and gestures to give clues to the meaning of your message.
- Raise your voice but do not shout, because loud speech may sound distorted.
- Speak slowly and distinctly.
- Use short, simple sentences.
- Rephrase your words if the person does not appear to understand or responds inappropriately.
- Avoid speaking directly into the person’s ear, because it can distort your message and hide all visual cues.