When a person suffers from hearing loss, it can be difficult – and frustrating – for them to communicate effectively with their family, friends, colleagues and even the general public.

There are a variety of sophisticated hearing aids to improve the communication experience, but it’s also important to remain patient and practice good communication techniques to minimize frustration for those with hearing impairment.

Hearing and Low Vision Solutions in San Francisco, CA, is here to help those with hearing difficulties, and we’ve compiled five tips you can use when talking with someone with hearing loss.

  1. Ask if they need to lip read.
    Reading lips is one way someone with hearing loss can better follow conversations. To accommodate a person’s need to read lips, face them directly and enunciate your words clearly.
  2. Get the listener’s attention before speaking.
    Touch a shoulder or give some other signal that a conversation is coming, and let them know what you’ll be talking about. Giving context to a conversation can help prevent misunderstandings and help the listener’s brain focus on key words in the conversation.
  3. Face the listener and speak clearly.
    Avoid speaking too fast, and remember not to shout or exaggerate words. This can actually make it more difficult for someone with hearing loss to understand you.
  4. Don’t repeat your words if the listener didn’t understand what you said the first time.
    Instead, try rephrasing your original statement. You can also ask them what they’re having trouble interpreting so you can clarify.
  5. Above all, remain understanding.
    If you feel frustrated trying to communicate with someone who has a hearing impairment, think for a moment how it must be for them. As much as you want them to follow the conversation easily, remember that they want to be able to listen, participate and understand, too.

Those with perfect hearing might find it difficult to imagine a world with muted conversations – or no sound at all. However, millions of people struggle daily with significant hearing loss.

Coping with hearing loss requires cooperation. If you think someone in your life has a hearing problem, suggest they get a hearing test.

Hearing and Low Vision Solutions offers comprehensive hearing exams and state-of-the-art hearing aids. Call us at 415.683.3704 or request an appointment online today to begin the journey to better hearing.