Couple talking

How to Talk to Someone With Hearing Loss

Because language is our primary source of communication, it becomes difficult to properly communicate with someone who has hearing loss if you aren’t familiar with it. Although sign language is very handy, it’s not always an option, and we need to be able to communicate properly without it.

Speaking clearly is a must, and even during times of heated discussion, it’s important to keep your voice calm and refrain from talking over each other. Without taking turns speaking, the person you are speaking with cannot keep up with the conversation and gets left out of the dialogue. When there are more than just you and another person talking, you need to be aware of the other people around you and how they are acting, not just your own actions.

meeting photo
Photo by Sole Treadmill

If you are in a meeting or something similar with a large group of people speaking, it is a good idea to have a microphone. This makes it easier to focus and see who is speaking. It also keeps people from talking out of turn or speaking over one another, because one person has the microphone and therefore everyone else must wait for their opportunity to talk.

Another habit that you should never use when speaking to someone with hearing loss is to dismiss them or say “never mind” when asked to repeat something. This is not only very disrespectful but also ruins the connection that could have formed if you had just repeated a word or phrase for the person’s convenience. If there is simply not enough time to repeat what you had said, then telling the person that would be much better than brushing them off. Letting the person know that you will pick up the story or repeat it later makes it more apparent that you are willing to accommodate for their benefit, and will make communicating with them much smoother and enjoyable for both sides of the conversation.

*Try our convenient online hearing test to see if a visit to one of our registered hearing instrument practitioners/audiologists would work out best for you. Check out our different locations.