Hearing loss makes it a lot harder to communicate. You might have a difficult time following conversations and use a lot of energy straining to hear. You may spend so much time asking people to repeat themselves that it’s hard to keep the conversation going! Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make communication easier. Here are some top tips for communicating if you have hearing loss.
Turn On the Light
This may sound like an odd tip, but one easy way to make communication easier is simply turning on more lights. That’s because if you have hearing loss, you may rely more on your other senses to help you understand what’s being said. If you’re having a conversation in a well-lit room, you can see facial expressions, body language, and even read lips to help you make sense of what’s being said.
Turn Off the Music
While you’re turning on a light, take an extra moment to turn off the TV, radio, or other background noise. If you have hearing loss, your brain is working hard to help you follow conversations. But background noise can be a distraction, splitting your focus between what you want to hear and the sounds that you don’t want to pay attention to. Rather than making your ears and brain do all this extra work, just turn off the music and enjoy your conversation in the quiet.
Ask Your Conversation Partner to Rephrase, Not Repeat
Do you ask your family and friends to repeat what they said? There’s an easier way that can help you communicate more easily. Rather than repeating what they said word for word, ask your loved ones to rephrase what they said. There’s a good chance that you’ll get hung up on the same words again, so changing the words gives you a better opportunity to follow the conversation.
Sit Close By
There’s no need to have a conversation from the other side of the room. If you’re having a conversation with a loved one, ask them to come to sit next to you so that you can hear them more clearly. They can also help you follow the conversation by facing you when they speak. This directs the sounds right to your ears and makes it easier for you to read facial expressions and nonverbal cues.
Do your family and friends raise their voices when talking to you? They’re trying to help, but speaking loudly doesn’t help you hear. Ask your loved ones to speak at a normal volume and normal speed. Speaking too loudly or too slowly can distort the words and make it harder to understand what’s been said.
Write It Down
If you have hearing loss, you don’t have to rely only on your ears. You can also write things down if you need to. Dates and times are easy to mishear, so if your loved one is arranging a time to meet, ask them to write it down. This avoids miscommunication and makes sure you’re all on the same page.
Ask For Help
At the end of the day, your loved ones want you to be able to participate in conversations and enjoy spending time together. You can ask your family and friends to help you hear. For example, you can ask that they rephrase what they’ve said, come closer when talking, or even let you know the topic of conversation if you get lost. Communication is a two-way street, to ask your loved ones for help when you need it. You can let them know which is your good ear or ask them to write something down. You can also ask them to visit the audiologist with you and help you find your next hearing aids.
Treating Hearing Loss
When you have a hard time communicating, it’s time to reassess your hearing aids. If you’ve had the same hearing aids for several years, it may be time for an upgrade. Hearing aids can also be recalibrated to your hearing loss. Visit us for a hearing test to find out how your hearing loss has changed. We can readjust your hearing devices, so they’ll help you communicate with your loved ones.