Communication is more than just hearing. Although hearing aids will provide much assistance, learning other strategies to help you and your family and friends hear better will help!
Here are some tips that your family and friends can use to help you hear better:
Use visual cues- You can get a lot of information from looking at the person, so face each other directly when trying to communicate. Lip-Reading, facial expressions, gesture and other non-verbal signals will all help you understand what is being said.
Speak clearly, slowly and avoid shouting- Speak slowly and clearly but do not shout. By shouting the words may become louder, but they also become distorted, less clear and harder to understand.
Control your environment – Reducing background noise (such as turning TV or radio off, as well as closing doors, moving to quieter areas) and minimizing reverberation by placing soft furnishings around your house will all help. Ensuring there is good lighting is also very important as it will help you optimize the use of visual cues!
Be patient – Try to understand the implication and effects of the hearing loss more, so that you may be able to offer better support to the listener. Spending time in helping the person with a hearing loss will result in more positive communication and less frustration at not being heard. Gain the person’s attention first before speaking to them, and be prepared to repeat yourself, rephrase yourself and possibly even try some more creative and different ways of getting your idea across.
Seek help - There are many support groups available to help you. Please ask your hearing professional for a list of support groups in your nearest area. Click here to find a hearing professional.