What People with Hearing Loss Want You to Know

With more than 40 million Americans reporting some degree of hearing loss, chances are someone you know has difficulty hearing. Here are a few tips shared by people with hearing loss to help make communication easy and stress-free for everyone involved:

Get his or her attention
A small hand gesture or light tap on the shoulder can help ensure you have someone’s attention before you begin speaking. The person may not hear you if you simply begin a new topic without getting his or her attention first. Once you know they are listening, it’s okay to start a new conversation.

Give him or her your full attention
Just like it’s important to make sure you get your friend or family member’s attention before starting a conversation, it’s also important to make sure that you’re giving someone with hearing loss your full focus as well. Look directly at him or her and make sure not to cover your mouth when you’re talking.

Give him or her your full attention
It’s helpful to make sure that you give someone with hearing loss your full focus during a conversation. If possible, try to face each other and look directly at one another. Now is not the time for multi-tasking, so put your phone aside.  Do not cover your mouth when you’re talking and remove sunglasses or anything that hides your face. Your expressions can be helpful clues to confirm what you are saying.

Speak at a normal volume
It’s okay and even natural to raise your voice slightly when speaking with someone with hearing loss, but there is no need to shout. Shouting can actually make it more difficult for someone with hearing loss to discern what you are saying, because shouting distorts both the sound of your voice and your facial expressions which people may rely on to help reinforce what you are saying. Just make sure to speak clearly and be comfortable repeating yourself if needed.

Hearing aids can’t do it all
It’s a common misconception that hearing aids make it easy to hear everything, when in truth a lot of factors play into being able to hear clearly. Background noises such as those in a noisy restaurant, environmental factors like the wind, and even ambient noise such as street traffic can make it difficult to hear clearly, even for hearing aid users. Be conscientious about the noises around you and don’t assume someone’s hearing aid will catch it all

CapTel Captioned Telephone