“Before you speak”
Take a moment to get the persons attention by calling their name or positioning yourself so that they can see you clearly.
“Let me put my glasses on, I’ll hear you better”
I have heard this phrase countless times, but actually, it’s very true. Everybody whether they are hearing impaired or not, will be able to communicate better if they can see the face of the person talking to them.
“Every word has a beginning and an end”
Speak clearly. Try to remember to annunciate the beginning and end of each word. This has the advantage of stopping you from speaking too quickly.
“Pause before you repeat”
When someone starts wearing hearing aids for the first time it’s difficult to break the habit of repetition. Don’t automatically repeat yourself when talking to someone who is hearing impaired, pause for a few seconds to allow time for the information to be processed. If you do need to repeat, try to rephrase what was said the first time.
“You don’t need to shout”
Actually, shouting can be detrimental, causing discomfort and distortion. Just remember to emphasise the beginning and end of each word in a natural tone of voice. Speak clearly and slowly and do not over emphasise anything.
“Silence is golden”
Try and reduce the volume of competing noise, this may mean, for example, reducing the volume of the TV if this is on whilst you are holding a conversation. This may be more difficult in public places like a restaurant but you can consider sitting in a quieter place, away from doors and noisy areas such as the bar or kitchen. Use other tactics, get the attention, of the listener and ensure they can see your face clearly. This will help reduce listening difficulty and fatigue.
“You’ve got hearing aids now, why can’t you hear me?”
Please be patient. It takes more than just a few hours or days to allow the auditory centre to recognise “forgotten” sounds. Hearing Aids do what they say – they aid hearing, they do not restore normal cochlea function or central auditory processing. Over time, with more practice and perseverance, communication will get better.