Tips for communication
By following the suggestions below, you can communicate much better with someone who has hearing loss.
You can communicate better by: Speaking clearly and naturally
  • Speak in a normal tone of voice. Shouting makes many words hard to understand.
  • Don’t slow your speech. Speak at a pace that allows words to be clearly distinguished from one another, but not so slowly that you lose the natural rhythm.

Attracting the listener’s attention before you begin speaking
  • Before you begin to speak, be sure the listener knows you want to communicate.

Facing the listener
  • When speaking to someone with hearing loss, make sure they can clearly see your mouth – especially in noisy environments. Most people have a natural ability to lip read.
  • Maintain eye contact while speaking.

Staying close
  • Stay within 1-2 meters (4-6 feet) of your listener.
  • If the listener can hear better on one side, try to stay on that side.

Using body language to emphasize your feelings
  • We communicate a lot more than we realize through facial expressions, gestures and tone of voice.

Repeating and rephrasing if you are misunderstood
  • If you need to repeat a sentence, try using different words that may be easier to understand.
  • If someone with a hearing loss walks in during the middle of a conversation, bring him/her up to speed on the subject.

Eliminating or reducing room noise
  • Reduce background noise as much as possible before starting a conversation. TVs, radios, air conditioners and even other people talking can greatly affect a hearing-impaired listener’s understanding.
  • In noisy places, speak directly into the listener’s ear at a suitable volume (not too loud).
  • Avoid sitting on the sidewalk or near open windows close to traffic. When entering a noisy place such as a restaurant, choose a quiet corner instead of the main seating area.

Use these simple suggestions and you’ll soon find that good communications doesn’t have to be difficult. And remember – a little extra consideration and effort will go a long way towards helping the new wearer to get the best from his or her hearing aid.
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