Posted on: January 15, 2015

When having a conversation with someone with hearing loss it is often tempting to raise our voices or yell. Intuitively this seems like it would help someone with hearing loss hear us better. However, this is not the case. Yelling can distort words, making it even harder for someone to understand what we are saying. Instead, follow these tips to improve your communication with people with hearing loss:

Make sure you always face the person you are speaking to.

Make sure your face is well lit so that the person you are speaking with can read your lips and facial cues. Avoid back lighting. For example, don’t sit in front of a window as it will be more difficult to see your face.

Speak clearly and slowly, but don’t exaggerate your words.

Minimize surrounding noise. The more noise there is, the more difficult it will be for the person with hearing loss to hear and understand you.

Confirm what you said if it looks like the person you are speaking with may have missed something.

Don’t yell! You can raise your voice a little, but shouting or yelling will only make you harder to understand.

Follow these tips for successful communication with someone with hearing loss.