When you’re hard of hearing, day-to-day communication can be difficult, and group activities can be downright exhausting. Here are some tips from the audiology specialists at LACE on making conversation easier.
1. Position yourself about 3 to 5 feet from the person you are talking with. The loudness of sound fades rapidly as it travels, so the farther away you are from a speaker, the harder it is to hear what is said.
2. Avoid carrying on conversations from another room. It is tempting but unproductive!
3. Look at the person who is speaking. Position yourself to get a full view of the face, not just the profile.
4. Concentrate on the main idea the speaker is expressing rather than straining to understand every word that is said. Oftentimes speech is redundant and predictable.
5. Don’t bluff and nod as if you understand when you don’t. It is better to ask questions than to continue down the wrong path.
6. Maximize the use of lighting. Have the light behind you so the speaker’s face is well illuminated.
7. Minimize interfering background noise by turning off the television, radio, running water or fan when conversing, or find a quiet corner for your conversation.
8. Have someone take notes for you in meetings so you can concentrate on the speaker and be certain that you aren’t missing anything.
9. At social gatherings, arrive early before the party becomes too large and noisy. Find the quieter places to converse.
10. When going to a movie or play, read reviews in advance to learn about the plot.
These tips and others are offered throughout LACE Auditory Training, which you can do online in the privacy of your own home in 11 sessions. Sign up for LACE and begin retraining your brain to make the most of the sounds you do hear!