Keeping up a conversation when all parties involved have normal hearing is hard enough, but add hearing loss into the mix and everything becomes more challenging. Below is an outline of tips and tricks for communicating with someone who has mild to moderate hearing loss.
Lip reading, body language and facial expressions are all soundless clues to help those with hearing loss follow the conversation. In order to provide your conversation partner with as many visuals as possible, make sure your rooms have enough light. If your overhead lighting is dim, try planning ahead and adding in a few more floor or table lamps.
Minimum Background Noise
Background noise can make it hard for anyone to carry on a conversation. But for those with hearing loss, loud background noises make separating out important speech almost impossible. This is especially true if the room you are chatting in has no carpeting or curtains, which can help absorb some of the unwanted sounds.
See Their Face
Being able to watch someone’s face as they speak can facilitate a better communication experience for those with hearing loss. Try opting for a round table to provide your hearing-impaired guest with visual access to all. You should also avoid covering your face when speaking, as not only can this muffle your speech but it can block someone’s ability to lip read.
Pick a Good Restaurant
While we may not be dining out quite as much as we used to these days, many restaurants have put COVID-19 safety precautions in place, allowing smaller parties to continue enjoying good food and good company. When selecting a restaurant, choose one with good lighting and acoustics that does not blast loud music.
One way to ensure you are dining with the least amount of background noise is to choose to eat outside of peak hours. Instead of a 7pm dinner reservation, opt for a late lunch or early dinner between 3-5pm. You’ll be able to still enjoy the same quality food but without the crowded dining room and clanging from the backed-up kitchen.
Louder Is Not Always Better
If someone is having trouble hearing you, you may be tempted to shout. But this does not help. Not only will shouting distort your words, but the person you are speaking with may be sensitive to loud noises. If you find yourself in this position, try rephrasing what you said, making sure to enunciate. To learn more communication skills or to schedule an appointment with a hearing professional, contact The Hearing & Speech Center today.