How to Communicate With Someone Who is Hearing Impaired

Public spaces aren’t always the easiest when you’re not hearing comfortably. This doesn’t have to be the case.  With these tips and a conscious effort to be mindful of one another, we can bring everyone into the conversation.

Most of us can think of a time when we’ve been in a loud venue and tried to have a conversation. Restaurants, bars, family events, and concerts are all places where people with hearing loss have to work harder to hear. It becomes difficult for a listener to tune out the crowd and listen to the person in front of them.

It’s not too hard to see why having hearing loss can make you feel slightly less inclined to leave the house at times. If you have a friend, spouse, or relative that has difficulty hearing or if you experience it yourself, there are some easy things you can do that will go a long way towards improving communication.

Good lighting creates good conversation

Though not always necessary, the ability to read lips is a nice added touch, especially for those with significant to severe hearing loss. If you’re going out with someone you know that has a harder time hearing, take the seat in the best light if possible. Don’t make any mention of it, just do it naturally and it’ll be appreciated subtly as well.

Save a seat

If you’re having dinner with a group, make sure your friend or relative with hearing loss has a seat near the middle of the table so he or she can hear and see everyone well. This will assist with making sure conversations can be understood better, rather than trying to listen and speak from across the table.

Consider your sound environment

Parties and other gatherings can be tough for people with hearing loss. Group conversations can make hearing especially difficult, and those with hearing loss can wind up feeling isolated rather than included. Try to avoid overly noisy settings like clubs or crowded bars in favor of a quieter, more intimate location.

Call ahead

Make a reservation and be sure to ask for a quieter table away from the kitchen, servers’ stations, or speakers, if possible. When you arrive at the restaurant, if the background music is too loud, be sure to let the host know, because they may be able to turn it down.

Be part of the action

Notice yourself or a loved one withdrawing more from social situations or having trouble keeping up with the conversation? Difficulty hearing in noisy environments can be one of the first signs of a hearing loss. Hearing loss is very socially isolating which increases the risk of depression and cognitive decline. Treating the hearing loss can help keep you part of the action and improve your quality of life!

Consider new technology

If you currently wear hearing aids that are several years old and find yourself struggling to hear in noisy environments, it may be time to consider upgrading. Technology in hearing instruments is constantly evolving, and today’s devices are much more sophisticated in how they automatically adapt to different environments. If cosmetics are a concern, today’s hearing aids are more invisible than ever, and discreet devices are available in many different styles.

We can help you change your life today!

Call to make your appointment for a FREE HEARING CONSULTATION and pick up your FREE hearing aid batteries while you’re here!



Derek Gavin, AuD
Doctor of Audiology

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