How do I talk to someone with hearing loss?

People who have a hearing loss can feel very isolated and lonely. Listening becomes difficult and getting together with family and friends can become very frustrating. Here are some ways you can make communicating with someone with a hearing loss easier and more effective:

  • Speak normally, not too exaggerated, too quickly or too loudly
  • Be sure you have the persons attention before you begin speaking to them
  • Look directly at the person to whom you are speaking so they can take advantage of speech reading (lip reading) cues
  • Use facial expressions, gestures and body language to make it easier for the hard-of-hearing person to understand what you are saying
  • Be aware of competing noises or sounds in the room such as music, other people talking, or mechanical sounds such as air conditioners. Background noises make it much more difficult to hear
  • Reword your sentence if the hard-ofhearing person does not understand what you are saying
  • Most importantly ask if there is anything you can do to improve communication