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  • Terri Gilmore

Improving Communication


Communication is extremely important to all relationships, but a hearing loss can have a profound impact on a person’s desire to interact. Frustration and embarrassment from the inability to communicate may lead to withdrawal from social situations along with feelings of isolation. The following strategies will make communication easier.


Strategies for the Person with Hearing Loss


RULE OF THUMB: if you can’t see the person’s face, assume they can’t hear you.

Ask others to look directly at you when they speak, to come closer if necessary and to speak at a slower rate.

Pay close attention to the face and gestures.

Be patient with yourself.

Rephrase what you heard to verify information.

Ask for repetition only once, then ask the speaker to rephrase.

Think of new ways to ask for repetition (other than “Huh?”).

Ask for the topic and then verify the topic.Inform speakers about your hearing loss and how they should speak to you.Keep a sense of humor about communication errors.

Use your hearing aids and other assistive listening devices at theaters and places of worship.

Modify light and seating arrangements if necessary, to obtain an unobstructed view.

Eliminate or reduce competing noise. Turn off the television or stereo, move away from fans and air conditioners, or seek a quieter room.

Make sure only one person talks at a time.

Be understanding and caring when someone forgets you have a hearing problem.

Seek additional communication and coping strategies from an audiologist at our clinic.


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