Helpful Hints

Helpful Hints for Hearing Impaired, Their Families & Friends.

Helpful Hints

When you speak to someone who is hearing impaired:

  1. Slow down - A fast rate of speech is especially difficult to understand.
  2. Don't shout - loud voices can sound distorted.
  3. Don't walk away while talking.
  4. Take the listener aside; large group conversations are very challenging.
  5. Face the listener - "speech reading" (lip reading) helps a lot.
  6. While talking, try not to eat, smoke, chew gum, cover your mouth, etc.
  7. Get the listener's attention before you start talking.
  8. Introduce the topic with a few key words.
  9. Minimize interfering noise.
  10. 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.
  11. Be patient and tolerant - one day you may have the same problem.

When it's you who has the hearing difficulty:

  1. Learn all about your hearing, especially why you have difficulty and what your potential is for improvement.
  2. '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.).
  3. Use your "speech reading" skills - practice with the TV volume set a bit low.
  4. You can sharpen your awareness of subtle differences between like-sounding speech sounds. Ask us how.
  5. 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.
  6. Try not to blame others when you don't hear.
  7. 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.