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How to Communicate with Individuals that Have Hearing Loss
If you’ve never spoken or communicated with someone who is experiencing hearing loss in the past, it can be hard to adjust to the rules. There are a few things you should try to do while speaking if you want them to have an easy time understanding what you’re saying. Even if they can still hear you, clearly making out words can be difficult – which you could make easier through communication techniques.
You can always get more information on how to better approach this situation through an audiologist, who’s an expert on the topic.
Write it Down
If you’re thinking about calling someone who has hearing loss, you should instead find another way to communicate with them that’s not so taxing or frustrating for them. Speaking on the phone can be especially difficult for someone with hearing loss, and you should consider sending your message through a text.
If you’re having a conversation where there’s something that you’re not really sure you can say better, consider picking up a pen and paper instead. Simply clearing it up by writing it down is an easy solution – and it could be worth bringing a notebook with you just to be prepared.
You may find yourself having to repeat or rephrase things a lot when communicating, and that’s okay. In this situation, it may be easy to get frustrated, as many don’t enjoy having to repeat themselves. However, you should keep in mind that this is something that cannot be helped, and it can be frustrating and embarrassing for them too. Being patient is the best way to make sure that you’ve understood, as the additional pressure will only make things more difficult.
If you’ve said something more than once and they’re having a hard time understanding, you should find another way to word it. It could be the way that you say certain words that are making it tricky and putting it another way can be easier to interpret. Try saying it slower, louder and make sure you don’t mumble when you say it.
A big part of communication is things like gesturing, facial expressions, and mouth movements and while most people are able to communicate without those things – it’s not so simple when experiencing hearing loss. If you want to be easy to understand, you should make use of these tools and be expressive while speaking.
Your facial expressions can help to fill the gaps, as well as your hand gestures. Of course, be sure not to exaggerate your gestures if you want to be understood, but make sure nothing is being covered up or obstructed if you want to make it easy for them.
Avoid Loud Areas
A lot of the time, people with hearing loss or who have hearing aids will have a hard time understanding what you’re saying when there’s a lot of background noise. If you’re out at a coffee shop or a restaurant, it can be hard to hold a conversation if it’s crowded. You should be sure to pick more secluded and quieter areas if you’re looking to meet up.
If you or a loved one is in need of hearing loss treatment, don’t wait! Give Hearing & Balance Services of Reston a call today at (703) 297-8715.