Hearing Health

Tips for Improved Communication with People with Impaired Hearing

Here are some tips for improved communication with people with impaired hearing:

If you are the speaker

  • Face the person directly on the same level whenever possible.
  • Be sure that the light is shining on your face, not in the eyes of the person with impaired hearing.
  • Do not talk from another room; if you must, make sure that the person has heard you call him/her and tell them what room you are in.
  • Speak in a normal fashion without shouting or elaborately mouthing the words. Words spoken a bit more slowly are clearer than those that are shouted.
  • Keep your hands away from your face while talking.
  • If you are eating, chewing or smoking while talking, your speech will be more difficult to understand.
  • If the person has difficulty understanding some particular phrase or word, try to find a different way to say the same thing.
  • If you are giving information, such as time or place, be sure it is repeated back to you by the person with impaired hearing.

If you have impaired hearing

  • Watch the speaker carefully so that you can see his/her total expression because it will give you clues to what the speaker is saying. Do not concentrate on the speaker’s lips only.
  • In noisy places, make sure the loudest noise is behind you. In restaurants, request a table by the wall or a booth. Avoid busy times at restaurants, when they are the noisiest.
  • Listen for ideas or concepts rather than isolated words.
  • Ask people to rephrase the information or slow down their speech are good options.

If you have any questions or concerns about your hearing health or a loved one’s hearing health, don’t hesitate to contact us!

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.