Communication allows us to share our feelings and emotions with others, as well as be social and participate in our daily activities. Communication may seem like a basic function, but it is in fact a privilege that can sometimes be taken for granted.
Losing your hearing can be difficult to adjust to. Even with hearing aids, people with hearing loss can sometimes still struggle to hear speech clearly. This can be hard to cope with, and difficult for others to understand.
At Echo Audiology, we came up with a list of communication strategies that can help you communicate more efficiently, whether you have hearing loss yourself or whether you are speaking with someone who has hearing loss:
Tips for listening when you have a hearing loss…
- Look at the person who is speaking, so you can take advantage of visual cues
- In group environments, try to have only one person speak at once
- Don’t be afraid to ask someone to repeat themselves if necessary
- Tell people to slow down! We tend to speak quickly, which makes it harder to process sounds
- Don’t be afraid of telling someone you have a hearing loss – they will naturally turn towards you and use better communication skills
Tips for speaking to someone with a hearing loss…
- Get the person’s attention before speaking by saying their name or touching their arm
- Speak normally. There is no need to shout, otherwise it will distort the sound
- Slow down your speech – sometimes people need a bit more time to process the sound signal
- Use facial expressions or body language
- Avoid blocking your mouth with your hand so the listener can look at your lips moving
- Be patient
Generally speaking, both the listener and the speaker should also be aware of competing noises and sounds in the room and steer away from them if possible, reduce the distance between yourself and the person you are communicating with, and try to speak face to face as much as possible.
If you or a loved one is experiencing communication challenges, book a consultation at Echo Audiology today, your local, independent & trusted Orléans Audiology Clinic. Find out how we can help you reduce the stress of communication and perhaps also help you rediscover your hearing in the process!