Tips for Communication if you have hearing loss

Tips for Communicating if You Have Hearing Loss

Hearing loss can be an isolating condition. At first, it may not seem like a big deal when you mishear a friend or coworker. However, over time, your hearing loss will likely become worse, as it is a progressive condition and with it, your relationships, stress levels, and mood can become affected. The Hearing Health Foundation reports that around 80 percent of hearing loss cases can be treated with hearing aids, but only one in four individuals who could benefit use them. 


Hearing aids allow you to hear the people in your life and respond clearly. People who invest in hearing aids report better moods, improved relationships as well as the likelihood to stay active and try new things. However, even with hearing aids, communication issues can persist. Here are a few tips which will allow you to communicate clearly in diverse situations.

Prepare to Pay Attention

Living with hearing loss, it’s hard to always know when someone is speaking to you. You can change the dynamic by asking people to accommodate their communication strategies. One helpful tactic is to ask them to make sure you are paying attention before they start speaking to you. This could mean asking them to tap you on the shoulder or say your name before they begin a question or comment they want you to hear. This way you can get poised and ready to listen.

Eye contact

Your chances of being able to follow a person’s intent during conversation are far easier when you maintain eye contact. This will allow the speaker to be more tuned in to what you understand and if you have become lost due to a hearing issue. They won’t have to wait for you every time to ask for clarification. Many times they will be able to sense if you are following, just by reading your eyes.


Speak Naturally and Clear

Many times, when you disclose you have a hearing loss people tend to believe they need to shout at you for you to hear. Let them know this is not necessary and can make things more confusing. Shouting can often distort sounds and make speech harder to hear. Instead, ask people to speak clearly and to enunciate. This not only will give you a better chance at listening and correctly hearing their intent but can aid in lip reading as well if you are a communicator who benefits from this enhancement. 

Don’t Underestimate Lipreading

The human mind is amazing. When one sense becomes depleted it’s common for another sense to become enhanced. Many hearing-impaired individuals achieve this by lip-reading. Many don’t even realize they are doing it, but it becomes key support in being able to listen arcuately. For this reason, ask the people in your life to keep the view of their faces clear. Keep hands away from their mouth and good lighting will give you a clear view to help you communicate. In a time when mask wearing in public is common those who rely on lip-reading have suffered. You can always offer masks with clear windows over the mouth to allow you to lip-read. You can order them online and be ready to pass them out to people when you need to hear what they have to say. 

Avoid Excessive Background Noise. 

If you are already struggling to hear, background noise can make it that much worse. Music playing, noisy street sounds, or a busy room full of competing conversations can be a nightmare to communicate in for anyone, but much worse if you have hearing loss. When you can ask people to lower the background sounds around them. Turn off the radio or TV and wait to run noisy appliances till later. If you are planning a social event and it’s too noisy, try moving to a quieter location or choosing a less noisy place. It will make the conversation go much smoother. 

Seek Treatment

If you are feeling frustrated following conversations at home and work and you haven’t been diagnosed with hearing loss, it’s a good idea to check. Hearing loss is more common than most people suspect and can occur at any age. To find out more tips to communicate with hearing loss or if you think you may have a hearing loss, don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a hearing exam today.