Communication is an essential part of our existence. We use communication to interact with others around us and express ourselves to them. If a person has hearing loss, their ability to communicate becomes impaired as well, especially when undetected. That doesn’t mean however, that a person cannot learn to communicate if he or she has hearing loss.
Despite an inability to hear, assistive listening devices and hearing aids can be purchased at the market to aid in hearing. In the meantime, learning to communicate during the absence of those listening devices can help a lot too.
Here are some helpful tips to help you communicate effectively amidst your condition.
Acknowledge Your Hearing Loss
When you talk with someone, let the other person know that you have hearing loss. This will let the other person understand you better. Once this expectation is set, there will be less misunderstanding, especially if the response seems inappropriate, or when you seem to be spacing out. Don’t try concealing your disability as it will only trigger confusion and bad communication.
Face the Other Person
When you are talking with someone, face them directly. This will help you make out the words that they are forming by reading their lips, facial gestures and expressions. In return, ask them kindly to face you directly as well so you’ll be able to see them clearly. Choose a spot where the light beams directly on your speaker’s face. This will make reading their facial expressions easier for you.
Participate Actively on the Conversation
An active participation in the conversation will help your speaker identify whether or not you are following what is being discussed. Ask questions when deemed necessary. Don’t hesitate to tell them that you misunderstood something or you couldn’t make out what they are saying. As much as possible, ask your speaker to use simple and easy words. More importantly, clarify to them if the information relayed to you is correct and repeat to them what you truly understood.
Avoid Noisy Places
Bars, concerts and restaurants are the worst places to hold a conversation when you have hearing loss. The loud background noise will prevent you from hearing or making out what your partner is trying to tell you. Even if you are not in public places, distance yourself from places with loud background noises as this will be a disadvantage to you. Eliminate all background noises like sound coming from the television, radio, etc.
Speak Clearly and Normally
Neither you nor the person you’re speaking with needs to shout when you are speaking with each other. Speak in your usual pitch and tone. Speak slowly but not overly slow. Never exaggerate or over-articulate your speech. Speaking normally at a normal rate will be easier for you to make out what the other is trying to say.
Take it Easy
The most important thing you can do is go easy on yourself. Learn to be patient and accept your hearing loss. Get support from family and friends and be active in a community which supports people with hearing disabilities like you. You’ll learn from others how they cope with their condition and still manage to live normal lives.
If you can communicate effectively, hearing loss will not be a problem to you. Likewise, never make it a barrier for you to enjoy your life, express yourself and interact with people important to you. For more encouraging tips on communicating effectively despite hearing loss, visit Beltone DFW or call us at (888)-958-8432.