Be part of the solution, not the problem: How to communicate better with those suffering from hearing loss.
If you have a family member or friend suffering from hearing loss in the west Houston area, you are probably aware of the struggle they face to carry on a conversation.
Often times these conversations can be stressful for both parties involved. Even when hearing aids are used, proper communication strategies are essential for maximizing the experience.
Tips to Better Communicate with Hearing Loss Individuals
Below are some tips the best audiologist in Houston recommends to keep in mind when communicating with a hearing impaired individual.
- Maintain eye contact with the hearing impaired individual, facing them directly. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room; visual cues are an important component of successful communication.
- Make sure you have the person’s attention before beginning a conversation. It helps to state their name so they are aware you are addressing them so they can focus on your words.
- Speak slowly and concisely. Resist the temptation to shout, which can lead to distorted speech and make your words more difficult to understand. Pause between sentences to ensure what you are saying is understood.
- Do not cover your face with your hands or other objects. Individuals with hearing loss rely on visual cues to help follow the conversation, and some find lip reading helpful. Avoid eating and drinking while conversing as well.
- Try to find a quiet area free of background noise. This can be distracting and cause the hearing impaired individual to miss out on much of what you are saying.
- Repeat yourself if necessary. Try using a different word or rephrasing your sentence if it is too confusing. Refrain from complex words and phrases.
- Supplement your conversation by writing down important information. This might include jotting down the topic you will be discussing beforehand.
- Pay attention to the listener. If they look confused, offer to clarify what you just said. Remember, communication is a two-way street. Give the other person a chance to speak and do not interrupt.
If you follow these tricks and they are still having a problem, they may need to return to their Katy audiologist serving the Houston area. Their hearing should be rechecked and their hearing aid may need to be reprogrammed or upgraded.