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Communicating When You Have A Hearing Impairment

People at work

People all over Calgary suffer from hearing loss. If you’re one of them, you may have a hard time communicating with others.

While wearing a hearing aid and scheduling regular audiology appointments can help, there are other ways to ensure effective communication.

How hearing impairments affect communication

Living with hearing loss can put you at a disadvantage. Not being able to communicate fully with others can lead to social isolation, fewer career opportunities and depression.

Communication strategies if you have a hearing impairment

Use these tips to make sure that you can fully understand what’s going on around you.

  • Make sure the area where you’re conversing is well lit. This will enable you to see the people around you and make reading their lips easier.
  • Ask others to look directly at you while speaking and to keep their hands away from their face.
  • At home, turn off anything that creates background noise before having a conversation.
  • At a restaurant, ask to be seated far from the kitchen and avoid peak hours, if possible.
  • To be able to see everyone in a meeting or at dinner, sit at the head of the table or use a round table.
  • Get fitted for hearing aids by an audiologist in Calgary. These devices make a big difference in allowing you to communicate better.
  • To conserve your energy, take a break when you need to. Being tired or frustrated makes communicating even more difficult.

How to communicate with adults or children who have a hearing impairment

If someone you’re close to suffers from hearing loss, it’s important to do everything you can to help them communicate. Here are some tips.

  • Face them directly when speaking, and keep your mouth uncovered when you talk.
  • Before speaking, get their attention by saying their name, touching their arm or waving.
  • When sharing important information, ask the person to repeat what you said or write it down.
  • Don’t shout. This changes the way your mouth forms words and is needlessly aggressive. Instead, speak slowly and clearly.

Most importantly, don’t talk about a person who a hearing impairment as if they aren’t in the room. Additionally, it’s best to let them speak for themselves. Make the effort to talk to them directly and help them understand what you’re saying.

Audiologists can help

If you or a loved one has a hearing impairment, visit the audiologists at Soundwave Hearing Care. We can provide solutions like fitting you with a hearing aid or an FM device that allows you to communicate with others in noisy environments. With clinics in Calgary, Grande Prairie, High River and Lethbridge, we help individuals from all over Alberta tackle hearing loss. Call us today to make an appointment.

All the blogs are reviewed and edited by our clinic's lead audiologist, Dr. Anne Wooliams. Dr. Woolliams is an experienced audiologist specialized in pediatric audiology, auditory processing, and tinnitus/sound sensitivity therapy. She is dedicated to providing top-notch hearing care and helping her clients improve their language and communication abilities. Dr. Woolliams' expertise in literature and linguistics, combined with her passion for helping people improve their language and communication, make her an incredibly valuable asset in the field of audiology. Learn more about Dr. Woolliams.