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Strategies for Improving Communication

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Strategies for Improving Communication

Whether you already wear hearing aids, or are just starting to notice some difficulty hearing and understanding conversations, using good communication habits can help improve your interactions. After all, communication is key for all human activities and allows us to learn, exchange information and take care of each other. In addition to getting help with your hearing, following a few tips can help ensure you are able to stay connected to friends and family.

Talk Face-to-Face

  • All listeners, and especially those with hearing loss, utilize visual cues like facial expressions, speech reading and hand gestures to better understand conversation.
  • Face the person you are talking to – and definitely don’t try to carry on a conversation with your back turned or from a different room.
  • Avoid chewing or eating while speaking and be sure not to cover your mouth.

Speak at a Natural Volume

  • Shouting typically does not help, especially for individuals who are already wearing hearing aids. The devices are programmed to amplify normal speech sounds, and for many hearing loss reduces speech clarity rather than the overall volume.
  • If you are having trouble communicating, try rephrasing the sentence rather than just repeating it over again.

Avoid Talking too Fast

  • Speaking naturally, while focusing on pronouncing words more clearly will naturally slow your speech. Be careful not to overdo it, but a slower, relaxed pace can make it easier for someone with hearing loss to understand conversation.
  • Use a technique called “Clear Speech,” which emphasizes naturally slower and louder speech and focuses on accurate, precise and well enunciated speech while using intonation and stress to emphasize certain words and pausing between phrases and sentences. Click here for more information on Clear Speech.
  • In group settings, take turns and try not to interrupt each other. If the general topic of conversation changes quickly, it can be difficult for those with hearing loss to follow and participate.

Reduce Background Noise

  • The most difficult listening environment for someone with a hearing loss is in background noise, especially if the “noise” is other voices, such as a television or in a restaurant.
  • If you can, try to eliminate background noise from a television, open window, or stereo system when having a conversation.
  • In noisy restaurants, it can help to try to be seated in a booth towards a corner of the restaurant that is away from the kitchen. This can help block some of the environmental sounds around you and make it easier to hear conversation.

 

If you or someone you love is suffering from hearing loss please call Evolution Hearing at our Charlottesville, VA location, 434-260-8007, at our Raleigh, NC location, 919-670-3258, or at our Richmond, VA location, 804-215-0001 to schedule an appointment today.