Hearing Loss and Deaf Awareness
People often believe that a person with hearing aids should be able to hear just the same as someone with normal hearing and may get frustrated when they can’t hear. Hearing aids are advancing rapidly but hearing aid performance can depend on a number of different factors. One factor is the degree of hearing loss; a hearing aid will work with nay functional hearing aid remaining so if the user has a profound hearing loss, the hearing aid isn’t going to work the same way as it would for someone with a mild hearing loss. Another factor is the environment the person is in, the noisier the environment, the harder the listening becomes.
If you are a family member of a hearing aid user or perhaps you have a colleague with a hearing loss, being deaf aware will help. Here are some ways you can communicate a little better with those around you that have hearing difficulties:
Six Great Communication Tactics
1. Speak clearly.
It might take someone with a hearing loss a little while longer to process what you are saying, this doesn’t mean they don’t understand or you need to talk very slowly, but enunciating clearly can make it better for the listener to follow the conversation.
2. Don’t cover your mouth.
People with hearing loss will focus on the movement of your lips to help fill in the gaps so avoid covering your mouth or chewing gum while you are talking.
3. Lighting helps.
Making sure you sit somewhere with good lighting e.g. in a restaurant can make it easier for the listener to follow facial cues.
4. Get attention first.
If the listener is aware that you are talking to them, they have a head start when it comes to following the conversation, particularly if you are in a noisy environment or the listener is pre-occupied e.g. watching the TV.
5. Talk face to face.
By being face to face the listener can follow facial cues and expressions much easier. Remember the further away you are from the listener, the harder it becomes for the listener.
6. Be patient.
This one is important, try to remain patient as you may need to repeat what is being said, particularly in noisy environments.
Click to learn more about types of hearing loss.
If you are struggling to hear or wear hearing aids and would like people around you to become more deaf aware, you can share the following infogram with them. Click to download a copy of Six Communication Tips and raise deaf awareness with family, friends and colleagues.
If you would like advice on how to manage your hearing, call us on 03302 23 25 27. If you would like your hearing assessed then click the button below. We offer home visits.