EVMS Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons
Hints for Hearing Better
THERE ARE MANY SIMPLE THINGS A PATIENT AND HIS/HER FAMILY MAY DO TO IMPROVE HEARING AND COMMUNICATION.
Hints for the patient:
- Ask friends and family to get your attention first before talking.
- Watch the face and lips closely for lip movements, facial expressions and gestures. This will help you distinguish consonants, content, and mood of the speech.
- Don’t just nod agreeably if you don’t understand. Try repeating what was said if you aren’t sure. Your family will appreciate a second chance.
- Don’t say “Huh? or What?” Instead say, “I didn’t understand you”. This will encourage the speaker to pay more attention to you, change words, and perhaps speak more clearly.
- Don’t be afraid to participate in active conversations. Pay attention to changes in speakers and watch their faces carefully. If the light is poor or the background noise is too loud, do what you can to change the environment.
- Consider speech reading classes
Hints for family and friends of a hard of hearing person
- Get the person’s attention before you initiate a conversation
- Do not try to talk to the person from another room
- Position yourself 4 to 6 feet away in good light
- Make sure the person can see your face and mouth.
- Do not cover your mouth or try to talk while chewing
- Turn down background noise such as the TV or stereo
- Speak at a normal rate
- Enunciate your words carefully and pause slightly between words and phrases
- Repeat what you said and/or restate what was said in a different way
- Do not yell in the person’s ear. Not only does this distort the sound and prohibit the person from reading your speech, but it also suggests frustration and anger.
- Loud sound can be very painful to a person with hearing loss.
- Try not to drop off your volume or tone at the end of sentences.