Is a hearing impairment common? Yes, and you may have friends or family with hearing loss and might want to be aware of better ways to communicate with them. Whether friends or family or coworkers, communication is important. Because hearing loss is not always apparent when meeting someone for the first time, it will be helpful to know better ways of speaking and listening.
Hearing aids are often hidden by hair or are in the ear, so recognizing that the person is hearing impaired may not happen at first. Unless they tell you, it would be wise to follow some tips we have prepared.
Here are three ways to communicate better:
1. Speak slowly
In today’s rapid-paced world, most people speak very quickly and assume others can hear them. With the hearing impaired, you will need to slow down, as it may take that person longer to process the words they are hearing. Pause between thoughts to be sure that the person understands what was said.
Before speaking, say the person’s name to ensure that you have their attention and focus. It will make it easier not to miss your words. Avoid shouting; speak clearly and distinctly.
2. Face the person
Do not talk to them from another room; this makes it difficult for them to understand you. They may hear your sounds, but putting the words together is challenging when the speaker is not in front of them.
Avoid putting your hands in front of your face as it may be difficult for them to read your lips. Eating food or chewing on your part may add to their difficulty of understanding.
3. Make gatherings easier
Groups of people, such as at a restaurant or a holiday dinner, are often difficult for the hearing impaired. If possible, seat them next to someone they can talk to and hear. In a work situation, have printed materials available to clarify further.
We want your interactions with the hearing impaired to be smoother, with understanding as a result. If you want your hearing or that of a loved one checked out, contact us at Atkins Hearing Center to learn more.