Hearing aids are an absolute life-changer for anyone with hearing loss. They make everything from going to the symphony to catching up with your grandchildren at The Ice Cream Bar easier and more enjoyable.
However, it’s important to remember that hearing aids aren’t magical devices that can offer you perfect hearing in every environment. After all, even people without hearing loss struggle to hear in certain situations.
In addition to hearing aids, knowing effective communication strategies can help ease conversation and minimize the effects of your hearing loss.
Consider What Environments Help Your Hearing
When you’re able to have a say over where you are meeting people, consider what’s best for your hearing needs. For example, a quiet café for coffee or lunch probably makes for a better meeting spot than a busy nightclub when it comes to catching up with friends.
It can also be helpful to think about the acoustics and lighting of a specific place. Opt for locations with carpets and drapes over those with hardwood floors and bright lighting as opposed to dim.
Be Open About Hearing Loss and Inform Others About Communication Strategies
Hearing loss increases the likelihood of misunderstandings or not making out parts of a conversation. While hearing aids help tremendously with this, it’s important to feel comfortable letting others know when you need them to speak slowly or repeat themselves.
You can also let them know about other effective communication strategies, such as looking at you when speaking, not covering their mouths and making sure to get your attention before starting to speak.
Communicating at Work
It’s not just in our home and social lives where we need to be able to communicate effectively, but in the workplace as well.
A survey of 161 adults with hearing loss asked about communication strategies in the workplace and found that text-based strategies and quality, in-person interpreters were ranked highly in perceived effectiveness. If you believe these or other accommodations would be helpful in your workplace, make time to discuss options with your employer.
For additional information on communication strategies or to schedule an appointment with one of our hearing experts, call San Francisco Audiology today.