Three Tips For Communicating Better
Hearing devices have come a long way in the past 15 years. The technology has become more advanced with the switch from analog to digital; features such as directional microphones, noise reduction, Bluetooth capabilities and several others help the user hear more optimally within their chosen lifestyle. Even with these advances, hearing aids are just one piece of the puzzle. It is the job of the hearing healthcare provider to program the devices for the user’s needs, but most importantly, it is up to the patient to practice effective communication strategies to be more successful with their hearing devices. Here are some helpful tips to communicate more efficiently with hearing devices:
- Face your partner– Facing the person you are communicating with is very important because it allows each person receive more information about the message. We all rely on speech-reading cues, such as facial expressions and lip reading, to better understand our communication partner. More often than not we do not even recognize we are doing it, including those who do not experience hearing loss. This strategy should be utilized for the user and their communication partner in all possible situations, especially in noisy environments.
- Move to a quieter area– When you’re in a noisy area such as a restaurant, party or other situation, consider trying to find a quiet place to converse. If in a restaurant, ask the hostess to seat you in a less noisy part of the restaurant; if you’re at a party, try moving outside for a bit. Remember the hearing devices can only do so much when reducing background noise, so moving to a quieter area is going to help be more successful when trying to understand speech.
- Ask your partner to speak more clearly or to slow down– Sometimes even in an optimal setting it can be difficult to understand due our partner talking fast or not clearly. If this is the case, ask them to slow down or enunciate. If you are the one speaking to someone who has hearing loss or hearing aids, try using different words if your communication partner is having trouble understanding. For example, if they’re having trouble understanding “would you like some cocoa?” try asking instead, “would you like some hot chocolate?”. Using different words will help clarify what you’re asking.
When it comes to communicating with someone with hearing loss, these three things will help immensely in communicating clearly. If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss, and would like to schedule a free hearing test, please contact our office.