Do you or does someone you love have hearing loss? The chances of the answer to that question being yes is pretty good since almost 48 million people in Florida and throughout the country are currently living with hearing loss.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to feelings of depression, loneliness and anxiety. Not being able to hear in a sound-filled world can be extremely isolating. Learning how to properly communicate with your loved ones can help them feel more connected and become more engaged.
Below are the top 10 ways your Zephyrhills audiologist recommends to improve your communication skills.
You should maintain eye contact with the hearing impaired individual, facing them directly. Do not attempt to hold a conversation from another room. Don’t forget about the importance of visual cues.
Make sure you have the person’s attention before beginning a conversation. It helps to state their name so they are aware you are talking to them and can focus on your words.
Say things slowly and concisely. Resist the temptation to shout, as this can distort your speech and make your words more difficult to understand. Pause between sentences to ensure what you are saying is understood.
Do not cover your face with your hands or other objects. People with hearing loss often rely on visual cues to help them follow the conversation. Some also find lip reading helpful.
This should go without saying, as it is rude for a number of reasons. Talking with food in your mouth makes your words harder to understand.
Try to find a quiet area free of background noise. This can be distracting and cause the hearing impaired individual to miss out on much of what you are saying.
Repeat yourself if necessary. You should try using a different word or rephrasing your sentence if it is too confusing. Refrain from complex words and phrases.
Writing down complicated or important points is often helpful. You can even do this beforehand if you need to make sure they understood everything that was said.
Pay attention to the listener. If they look confused, offer to clarify what you have just said.
Remember, communication is a two-way street. Give the other person a chance to speak and do not interrupt.
As you can see, these tips are quite simple. Just a few changes to how you communicate can help your loved one feel more included. While this is a great short-term solution, seeking treatment from a Zephyrhills audiologist is the only way to get real results. Contact your audiologist today to get started.