Hearing Health

12 Tips for Improved Communication with People with Impaired Hearing

Here are some tips for improved communication with people with impaired hearing:

  1. Face the person directly on the same level whenever possible.
  2. Be sure that the light is shining on your face, not in the eyes of the person with impaired hearing.
  3. Do not talk from another room; if you must, make sure that the person has heard you call him/her and tell them what room you are in.
  4. Speak in a normal fashion without shouting or elaborately mouthing the words. Words spoken a bit more slowly are clearer than those that are shouted.
  5. Keep your hands away from your face while talking.
  6. If you are eating, chewing or smoking while talking, your speech will be more difficult to understand.
  7. If the person has difficulty understanding some particular phrase or word, try to find a different way to say the same thing.
  8. If you are giving information, such as time or place, be sure it is repeated back to you by the person with impaired hearing.
  9. Watch the speaker carefully so that you can see his/her total expression because it will give you clues to what the speaker is saying. Do not concentrate on the speaker’s lips only.
  10. In noisy places, make sure the loudest noise is behind you. In restaurants, request a table by the wall or a booth. Avoid busy times at restaurants, when they are the noisiest.
  11. Listen for ideas or concepts rather than isolated words.
  12. Ask people to rephrase the information or slow down their speech are good options.

Need more tips? Contact us to gain access to our staff of trained audiology professionals.

About Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D.

Dr. Marie Vetter-Toalson Au.D. is the owner of Chicago Hearing Services and a Doctor of Audiology dedicated to empowering her patients and the public with greater knowledge and education around hearing health.