Tips For Communicating With Those Who Are Hearing Impaired

Hearing aid batteries

Hearing loss and hearing impairment are far more common than you might think — one in five adults and teens suffer from hearing loss. It isn’t just a problem that plagues the elderly, but luckily, modern technology and medicine have come a long way in helping people overcome hearing loss. Whether it’s hearing aids, assistive listening devices, or corrective surgery, a lot of people regain the ability to hear fully.

However, when it comes to hearing loss onset, or times where a person might be waiting for or adjusting to a new treatment, hearing loss does still negatively affect a lot of people. It is important to be patient and try to help them out as much as possible. Check out some of these tips for communicating with people in your life who might suffer from hearing loss:

Face them directly: Try to face the hearing impaired person directly, preferably in good light. The way your lips, hands, and body move might help them to better understand you. Try to also keep your hands away from your mouth and avoid eating while talking.

Speak clearly and slowly: But remain natural. Shouting or exaggerating your mouth movements typically distort sound and condescend those with hearing impairments.

Say their name: Say the name of the person you are talking to before beginning a conversation, as this will give them the chance to focus on your words. Also give them a turn to speak and pay attention to what they say.

Acknowledge that it’s hard: The person who suffers the most in these situations is the person who has the hearing loss. Recognize that is even more difficult to hear and understand when tired, sick, or frustrated.

When someone you know gets hearing protection or hearing aid devices, you can help them by assisting them in maintaining their devices, changing their hearing aid batteries and cleaning their hearing aids regularly. Doing research and looking into different types of devices, like digital hearing aids, might also make the life of the hearing impaired person you know that much richer.

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