Helpful Hints for Hearing Impaired, Their Families & Friends.
When you speak to someone who is hearing impaired:
- Slow down - A fast rate of speech is especially difficult to understand.
- Don't shout - loud voices can sound distorted.
- Don't walk away while talking.
- Take the listener aside; large group conversations are very challenging.
- Face the listener - "speech reading" (lip reading) helps a lot.
- While talking, try not to eat, smoke, chew gum, cover your mouth, etc.
- Get the listener's attention before you start talking.
- Introduce the topic with a few key words.
- Minimize interfering noise.
- If the listener owns hearing aids, try to determine if they're being worn and if they're working. Usually, it's just a new battery that's needed.
- Be patient and tolerant - one day you may have the same problem.
When it's you who has the hearing difficulty:
- Learn all about your hearing, especially why you have difficulty and what your potential is for improvement.
- 'Fess up - admit you have a problem and ask for what you need ("Would you mind speaking a little slower, facing me, turning that radio down, raising your voice just a little, shaving off your bushy moustache," etc.).
- Use your "speech reading" skills - practice with the TV volume set a bit low.
- You can sharpen your awareness of subtle differences between like-sounding speech sounds. Ask us how.
- Have regular hearing re-evaluations to learn of any changes in your hearing and of new developments in health and technology that may help you.
- Try not to blame others when you don't hear.
- Improve your health and happiness: join a quit-smoking support group; eat simple, wholesome foods prepared in traditional, time-tested ways; avoid food additives like MSG and all high tech sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup; exercise your body; nourish your spirit; ask for help; write a poem; learn to play an instrument; make something; forgive somebody; call or write to a loved one; take an interesting course; learn to browse the Internet; connect with Nature; read to someone.