Hearing Aid Buyer’s Guide
Strategies to help you communicate
There are things you can do, and things others can do, to help you communicate more easily – with or without hearing aids.
Strategies that can help you communicate more effectively
- Tell others that you have a hearing loss and let them know how they can help (e.g. make sure you have my attention before speaking to me, speak slower, look directly at me).
- Keep background noise to a minimum – turn down the radio and television when you’re talking, and avoid fans or running water during conversations.
- Move closer to the person speaking and position yourself so you can always see them.
- In large groups, position yourself in the center. At large gatherings, such as church services or lectures, sit at the front of the room. Use an assistive listening device, if available.
How family and friends can help
Reduce background noise
- Reduce background noise by turning down the television or radio, turning off the dishwasher, fan and other noisy devices.
- Move closer to the listener.
- Try to have only one person speaking at a time in large groups, when possible.
Make it easy to read your lips
- Do not cover your mouth or chew gum or food when speaking.
- Reduce the distance between you and the listener. Look directly at the person when speaking.
- Ensure conversation areas are well lit so the listener can watch facial expressions.
- Avoid conversations in the car where it is difficult to hear between the front and back seats or to read lips.
- Get the listener’s attention before you begin speaking.
- Speak at a normal conversational level, avoiding loud, exaggerated speech.
Do not speak too quickly.
- Pronounce your words clearly and allow the listener time to fully comprehend the conversation.
- Rephrase a sentence rather than simply repeating it, as some phrases are easier to lip read than others.