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  • ARA

Eight Ways to Communicate with People Who Struggle to Hear

  1. Do not be afraid to let others know you have a hard time hearing. Your communication partner is more likely to speak clearly and directly if they know about your hearing difficulties.

  2. Be confident and ask people to speak more slowly, clearly, and if needed, to rephrase or write down what they have said.

  3. If you heard part of what someone said, try repeating what you have heard, so they only repeat or rephrase what you have missed and do not have to repeat every word again.

  4. Look at the person speaking to you. Seeing facial expressions and reading lips can help with how well you can understand someone.

  5. Turn down background noises, like the television and radio when someone is speaking. Avoid restaurants at peak hours; ask the host if there are quieter places within the restaurant with good lighting.

  6. Move closer to the speaker; this allows better access to sound and visual cues.

  7. If you have hearing aids, wear them. Ask your audiologist about additional devices for listening to the television, or in noise, if you are still having difficulty.

  8. Hearing aids are not a cure; they are an aid and have limitations. If you feel you are having increased difficulty understanding or stop wearing your hearing aids, speak with your audiologist; the hearing aids may need to be adjusted.

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