Hearing Loss

Strategies for Communicating with Loved Ones Who Have Hearing Loss

Family enjoying a summer barbeque

Summertime is filled with opportunities to get together and connect with family and friends. For people with hearing loss, these gatherings can be challenging listening environments. Being intentional about how we communicate with our hearing-impaired loved ones can make all the difference in their ability to enjoy and participate in the festivities.

Minimize distance

  • When communicating with a person that has hearing loss, try to keep the distance between you less than six feet. Sound loses intensity as it travels, and in the presence of background noise, competing sounds can interfere making speech understanding harder.

Monitor your speed

  • It is human nature to raise our voice when we learn a person has hearing loss. If someone is utilizing hearing aids, it is often more helpful to speak slower, not louder, if he or she is having trouble understanding.

Don’t repeat, rephrase

  • If someone asks you “what?”, and they didn’t hear you the second time either, try rephrasing your statement instead of repeating it word-for-word. It is likely a specific word or speech sound he or she is missing, so switching it up may allow him or her a better shot at understanding.

Additional tips for those with hearing loss:

Maintain eye contact

  • Access to visual cues can significantly increase speech comprehension.

Stay as far from background noise sources as you can

  • It may be impossible to avoid background noise, but whenever possible, try choosing a seat further from the speakers or other sources of loud noise that may compete with your conversations.

Make sure your hearing aids are in, on, and working well!

  • If it has been more than six months since your hearing devices have been checked by a professional, or a year since you’ve had your hearing tested, call to schedule an appointment with your audiologist.

Our team at Listen 2 Life hopes you have a great summer. Hear well!