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Tips and Tricks for Successful Communication with the Hearing Aid User

Perhaps you have a friend or family member who wears a hearing aid. Be aware that hearing aids do not recover normal hearing ability so these tips and tricks will make it easier for everyone.

1. Do NOT talk from another room.

Not being able to see the speaker drastically cuts down on the hearing impaired person’s ability to “understand” what is being said. Additionally, because volume decreases with distance, by the time the sound reaches the hearing impaired individual, it is likely that the sound is too soft for them to hear and/or understand.

2. Get their attention.

By getting the hearing impaired individual’s attention, whether by saying their name or gently touching their arm or shoulder, will alert the individual and will allow them to focus attention thereby reducing the chance that they will miss the first part of the conversation.

3. Keep your hands away from your face.

Keeping your hands away from your face or lips will give the hearing impaired person more “cues” and cut down on misunderstandings as many rely these on facial cues or lip reading to “supplement” their hearing.

4. Speak Naturally.

Do not exaggerate your facial expressions or lip movements. Do not speak too slowly, too quickly and do not shout. Instead of slowing down your speech, use pauses to help the hearing impaired individual to process what is being said.

5. Rephrase rather than repeating.

If the listener has difficulty understanding something you said, find a different way of saying it. If he or she did not understand the words the first time, it’s likely he or she will not understand them a second time. So, try to rephrase it.

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Dr. Angela Schenk, Gardner Audiologist

Dr. Angela Schenk, Gardner Audiologist

Doctor of Audiology from A.T. Still University