Untreated hearing loss has been linked to feelings of isolation, anxiety and depression. Much of this is attached to the inability of individuals with hearing loss to communicate with others better.
If you know someone in Manchester, New Hampshire who is hearing impaired, don’t you want to help them feel more included? Of course you do.
Tips to Better Communication
Below are 10 tips to help you have a better and more productive conversation with a hearing impaired individual.
Maintain eye contact with the hearing impaired individual, facing them directly. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room as visual cues are an important component of successful communication.
Make sure you have the other person’s attention before you start talking. It helps to state their name so they are aware you are addressing them, and can focus on your words.
Speak slowly and concisely. Resist the temptation to shout, which can lead to distorted speech and make your words more difficult to understand. Pause between sentences to ensure what you are saying is understood.
Do not cover your face with your hands or other objects. Individuals with hearing loss rely on visual cues to help follow the conversation and sometimes find lip reading helpful.
Avoid eating and drinking while conversing. Not only is it rude to talk with your mouth full, it can make your words much harder to understand.
Try to find a quiet area free of background noise. This extra noise can be distracting and cause the hearing impaired individual to miss out on much of what you are saying.
Repeat yourself if necessary. Try using a different word or rephrasing your sentence if it is too confusing. Try to resist the urge to use complex words and phrases.
Supplement your conversation by writing down important information. This might include jotting down the topic you will be discussing beforehand.
Pay attention to your conversation partner. If they look confused, offer to clarify what you have just said.
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Give the other person a chance to speak, and do not interrupt.
This simple act of learning how to better communicate with others can have a huge difference on somebody’s life.
For more information on how to better communicate with others or to schedule a hearing appointment for yourself, contact your local Manchester audiologist today.