Hearing loss can make communication challenging. Some common problems that people with hearing loss face during communication include feeling excluded from conversations, having trouble keeping up with what others are saying, and pretending to hear to avoid seeming confused.
To improve communication with people who have hearing loss, it is important to avoid shouting, emphasize body language and other nonverbal cues, maintain eye contact, and gain the listener’s attention before beginning to talk. It is also helpful to reduce background noise and provide the topic of conversation or key words to someone having difficulty understanding. It is important to make people aware that you have hearing loss and your preferred communication style.
If you have hearing loss, there are several additional tips to improve communication with others. These include:
- Gaining the listener’s attention before speaking
- Speaking clearly, slowly, and naturally without shouting or exaggerating mouth movements
- Saying the person’s name before beginning a conversation
- Facing the camera and avoiding covering your mouth while speaking during video calls
- Emphasizing body language and other nonverbal cues
- Avoiding multitasking during a conversation
- Being visible and avoiding starting a conversation from a different room