How to Communicate with Hearing Aid Users
May 02, 2022
It is well known that clear communication is the key to every healthy relationship. It is also common knowledge that not everyone enjoys the same hearing capacity, which creates obstacles in their daily lives. To overcome this gap in their communication, hearing aids were introduced which help them to listen and analyse better. Keep reading to find out how you can help bridge this gap for hearing aid users.
Understanding Hearing Aids
A hearing aid is an electronic device that helps individuals who are hard of hearing listen better. It can be worn inside or outside the ear and it aids people with hearing loss in carrying out their day-to-day activities more efficiently. Its main three parts are a microphone to receive and convert sound waves into electrical signals, an amplifier to increase its power and then send the signals to the ear through its third part, the speaker.
While hearing aid can help people hear more efficiently in both quiet and noisy environments, its use is still not as common as it should be. Despite wearing hearing aids, people can have trouble communicating clearly, here is how you can help them communicate better-
Ensuring Clear Speech While Communicating
We often find ourselves speaking too fast or too slow, or using incomplete words or sentences while communicating with people. This creates hindrance in communicating with people using a hearing aid and otherwise. Speaking also does not mean that you should speak louder or slower than normal rate, as this can prove to be offensive to people using a hearing aid. It simply means to make your speech more apprehend able by speaking at a normal rate and decibel, with proper pauses between the sentences.
Providing Visual Aid While Speaking
People suffering hear loss often resort to using facial cues to understand the other person better. Face-to-face communication provides the advantages of reading lips, facial expressions and analyzing the body language of the speaker. You can communicate better with people using hearing aids by following some points mentioned below-
- Do not converse from a different room
- Make sure your face is visible to the listener
- Maintaining an optimal distance of 5 feet for lip-reading
- Areas with good-lighting are optimal for conversations
Make Sure the Listener is Paying Attention
The easiest way to communicate better is to ensure that your listener is paying attention to the conversation. You can do this by maintaining eye contact, or establishing physical contact if the listener is comfortable. People using hearing aids often find it hard to focus their attention on a long conversation, so make sure you keep them from shifting their attention to the surrounding noise rather than what you are speaking.
Modulate Your Voice According to the Hearing Environment
While it is crucial not to assume that an individual wearing hearing aids would want you to speak louder, you should also understand the need for modulating your voice according to the level of surrounding noise. For example, if music is playing in the background, you may have to speak a little louder. It also serves well to avoid noisy places or areas while you are outside. Such as getting a table away from the restaurant kitchen and bar ensuring little to no noise, which will help you communicate better.
How to Encourage People to Wear Hearing Aids?
Hearing loss is a gradual process and is often ignored by many people. Only one out of five people who can benefit from hearing aids uses one. Some of the signs that may indicate a person is quietly suffering from hearing loss are-
- Constantly thinking that people around them are mumbling or speaking softly.
- Listening to the radio or watching television louder than other people in their home
- Trouble in fully understanding a sentence
- Not apprehending speech without the person present in front of them
- They may find themselves asking people to repeat their words often
You can make them comfortable with the idea of visiting the doctor and getting their hearing ability checked. Some individuals may hesitate to visit shops physically for whom there is the option of buying hearing aids online where you can always find hearing aids on sale. Along with the advantage of numerous options such as New Sound hearing aids, Siemens hearing aids and more, they assure the quality of the products and also give a brief on how to use it properly!