Are you struggling with hearing loss? Do you wish your family and friends had a better idea of how to communicate with you clearly? If you’ve been trying to explain to your loved ones how they can help you participate more easily in conversations, here are some tips for better communication with people with hearing loss.
Communication is Key
If you’ve been living with hearing loss, you know that communication is key. Without clear communication, you’re left feeling isolated and alone, even if you’re surrounded by the people you love. When you can’t follow conversations or have meaningful connections with your family and friends, your emotional and mental health will suffer, and you’ll start to feel the negative effects of loneliness. Those with hearing loss often choose to stay home, avoid social events, and struggle to find happiness and joy in their lives. With easy communication, all of that changes, and you’re able to maintain a high quality of life, keep your body and brain healthier and more active, and protect the relationships that matter the most.
Be Open About Your Hearing Loss
Are you living with hearing loss? Whether or not you’re wearing hearing devices, you need to be open about your hearing loss. You’ll experience the best health outcomes if you tell people that you’re struggling to hear, and are honest with yourself and others about your limitations. Your family and friends want to communicate with you, and include you in conversations and activities, and if they know you’ve been struggling to hear, they’ll gladly make whatever accommodations they can to help you get the most out of your life. They want to see you happy, and will work with you to make this a reality. Whether that’s occasionally repeating themselves, sitting on the side of your good ear, or being patient, if you’re open about your hearing loss, you’ll receive a lot of help.
Get on the Same Level
If your conversation partner is standing, invite them to pull up a chair, and get on your level. It’s difficult to understand someone when you’re straining your neck to look up at them, and their voice seems to go right over your head. When you are at the same level, you’ll be able to hear them clearly, and can use nonverbal cues to help you understand the context of what’s been said. Whether through body language or lip reading, being able to see the person clearly will help you follow conversations with ease.
Take Turns in Group Conversations
At family dinners, people tend to all speak at once, talking over each other, and having multiple conversations across the table. If you have hearing loss, following these conversations can be a nightmare, and you may choose to stay home rather than facing the confusion of misunderstanding, or the embarrassment of not hearing something correctly and answering inappropriately. Sit at the head of the table, and encourage your family to talk one by one rather than talking over each other.
If your loved ones raise their voices when speaking to you, you know they’re trying to help you hear, but raising the volume doesn’t necessarily make things easier. In fact, when they shout, you feel like they’re angry at you, sounds can get distorted, and you have an even harder time following conversation. Ask your friends and family to speak normally, and avoid yelling. Rather than raising the volume, they can speak slightly slower, and add a few pauses after sentences or phrases to give you a chance to catch up and understand what they’ve said.
Visit us at Hart Hearing Centers
If you’ve been struggling to communicate with your loved ones, visit us at Hart Hearing Centers for a comprehensive hearing test. We’ll discuss your hearing health and find the best treatment option for your lifestyle and level of hearing loss. We work with the world’s top hearing aid manufacturers, so we have the device that will have you hearing in any listening environment! From understanding the TV to enjoying family dinners, your new devices will change the way you communicate and connect with the world. Contact us today for a consultation.