Thursday, April 4, 2013

Talking with a person with hearing loss

It is very important to recognize that a person with hearing loss is going to require some special attention in order to adequately communicate.  Hearing aids do not restore hearing to normal.  They are extremely helpful, but it is necessary for everyone to contribute toward a successful conversational situation.
Most importantly, be sure to speak face to face.  Those with hearing loss, even wearing hearing aids, depend a great deal on facial expression and lip movements to fully understand what is being said.  Speaking with a mouth full of food or chewing gum makes lip reading very difficult.  Also being in the same room is paramount.  It is not possible to carry on a satisfactory conversation from a different room, with the dishwasher running, the fan going or the television set on.
Speaking in a clear, distinct voice is most effective, particularly when speaking on the telephone.  It is not necessary to raise your voice or “yell”.  If you raise your voice, your expression changes and it will appear that you are upset or angry.  Clear speech allows the hearing impaired individual to understand enough to realize what you are trying to communicate. 
Noisy environments are particularly challenging for those with hearing loss.  Attempt to find settings away from air conditioners, running water, entryways, speakers and the restaurant kitchen.  If seated in a restaurant, be sure to find a quiet location and sit across the table from the person with hearing loss.
The person with hearing loss must advocate for themselves.  Communication is a two way street.  Family, friends and co-workers must be told what is needed to help improve communication.  Hearing loss is invisible and it is easy to forget that someone has a hearing loss.  With a little effort, we can improve communication. 

Life sounds great!  Enjoy every moment!

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1 comment:

  1. The doctor we purchased the hearing aids from in Atlanta was so effective about getting just the correct product and fit. I am looking to get someone like that in our new town.

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