If you or somebody that you know has hearing loss, there are strategies that can be utilized, in combination with hearing aids, in order to improve communication success. Don’t let hearing loss keep you from participating in conversations with your friends, family and loved ones! Here are a few simple tips that may help:
- Stand face to face: Look at the person you are communicating with directly. By doing this, you will be able to make use of visual cues, such as lip reading and facial expressions, that can help you better understand what was said. Do not try to have a conversation with someone who is facing away from you, in another room or who is far in distance.
- Get rid of background noise: Although our hearing aids have the ability to reduce background noise and enhance speech, technology can only go so far. Turn off the television or radio when speaking with others at home. Choosing a quiet restaurant in New York City can be hard, so ask the host to seat you at a table where the noise is mostly behind you.
- Ask people to speak slowly and clearly. Most people are willing to slow down their speech in order for you to understand them clearly. Instead of asking someone to repeat themselves, ask them to rephrase what they just said.
- Take advantage of hearing assistive technology. Many hearing aids can be paired with other devices that will aid in speech understanding. Also, captioning can be very helpful, as it displays the words as text at the bottom of your television and even your telephone (pictured above). Ask about the Caption Call Telephone, which can be made available to you free of charge.