The Hard of hearing can benefit from a number of different ways to improve their abilities to communicate and interact with other people. Undoubtedly, the most popular and effective one of them is using a hearing aid. Although it does not actually provide a cure or treat the condition, it can significantly improve your social life, self-confidence and general physical and emotional state.
Considering all its benefits, it is still important to note that hearing aid users should be aware of additional ways to successfully communicate with other people, so that they feel more confident. Being able to effectively manage a situation even without the assistance of the device in cases of accidental breakdown, battery exhaustion or if the listening environment is too difficult to handle just with the help of the hearing aid, remains an important skill for someone with hearing loss to master. Hearing aid users, especially those whose hearing loss is severe to profound, may feel quite isolated if they are left without their listening device for even short periods of time. In such cases, the following communication tips can be quite useful:
Stand face to face with the person you are speaking with. This will not only increase your chances to hear what they are saying, but will also help you gather useful bits of information by observing their mimics and gestures. If necessary, ask the person to speak more clearly and slowly or to repeat or try to rephrase any words you cannot understand.
Even if you hear someone's voice, this does not guarantee that you will be able to properly understand his or her words. In this case, lip reading can be of great help. It might take some time to successfully learn, so it is advisable to practice with your family at home or try to watch a movie with subtitles without the assistance of your hearing aid, while deliberately being attentive to the way the actors move their lips.
Make sure that the conversation takes place in a quiet environment, with as fewer distractions as possible. Choose a seat you will be most comfortable with and that will allow you to clearly see the face of the person with whom you are talking this will help you feel more relaxed and confident and focus on the conversation only.
In cases where you have to follow a conversation between several people, ask them to speak one person at a time.
Knowing the topic of the conversation in advance will help you feel better prepared and will increase the chances of catching the gist of the conversation even if you do not manage to understand all the words.
Ensure the person with whom you are speaking is aware that you have some listening difficulties without your hearing aids and ask them to try and take this into account during the conversation.