Despite all the incredible advances in hearing aid technology, day-to-day life for the hearing impaired can still be frustrating. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of simple steps you can take to make life easier for those around you who suffer from hearing loss:
- When speaking to somebody with a hearing impairment, make sure you face the person directly (so they can see your lips), in good light and enunciate clearly.
- Think about each word you are saying but do not shout as this can be uncomfortable for the listener.
- Don’t exaggerate your lip movements, as this makes it difficult to lip read.
- Introduce the subject matter so the listener has some idea of what you are going to be talking about. If they do not catch what you are saying the first time, don’t simply repeat yourself, but slightly rephrase the sentence with different key words. This gives them more chance to pick up on the key words.
- If you have elderly friends or family with hearing issues, help them by regularly checking that their hearing instruments are working properly and that they are maintained and kept clean. Also ensure they have spare batteries.
- If you are hosting a social event and you have the space, try and keep one room as a quiet room. It is unreasonable to expect children to keep the volume down all the time so a separate room with no TV or radio on is an ideal refuge for someone with hearing issues.
- Speak to your hearing impaired relative/friend about all the technological accessories available to assist hearing loss. Especially if they are older, they may not be aware of many of the products on the market. These include TV listening devices which make it easier to hear the television without having to adjust the volume for other people in the room. Also, mini microphones which can be placed in front of the audio source and stream the signal back to the hearing aid. This can be very effective when trying to identify speech in background noise such as a conversation in your favourite restaurant or café.
At Hearing Healthcare Centre we are here to help. Please pop in and see us for friendly, professional help and advice.