Communicating with a person who has a hearing loss can be stressful for both parties. Even when hearing devices are used, proper communication strategies are essential for maximizing the experience. Try the following tips when communicating with a hearing impaired individual.
Maintain eye contact with the hearing impaired individual, facing them directly. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room; visual cues are an important component of successful communication.
Make sure the person with hearing loss is aware a conversation is starting. It helps to state their name so they are aware they are being addressed.
Speak slowly and concisely. Resist the temptation to shout, which can lead to distorted speech and make the words more difficult to understand. Pause between sentences to ensure what is being said is easy to understand.
Avoid eating and drinking while conversing. Individuals with hearing loss rely on visual cues to help follow the conversation, and sometimes find lip reading helpful.
Try to find a quiet area free of background noise. This can be distracting and cause the hearing impaired individual to miss out on much of what is being said.
Repeat if necessary. Try using a different word or rephrasing the sentence if it is too confusing. Refrain from complex words and phrases.
Supplement the conversation by writing down important information. This might include jotting down the topic that will be discussed beforehand.
Pay attention to the listener. If they look confused, offer to clarify what was just said.
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Give the other person a chance to speak, and do not interrupt.
Call Prescott Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy at (928) 778-9190 for more information or to schedule an appointment.