Active Listening Strategies for People with Hearing Loss

When you are dealing with hearing loss, communication can become challenging. Communicating is a two way street and when one half of that is not working optimally, there are active listening strategies that you can use to help bridge that gap. Of course, these listening strategies won’t replace hearing aids, but should be used in conjunction with them to make your communication and effective as possible. Keep these ideas in mind when interacting with others:

  1. Don’t hide your hearing loss. When you let others know what you are dealing with,they can accommodate your needs better.
  2. Face the person you are talking to and sit close to them.
  3. Situate yourself so that the ear you hear better with is aimed at the person speaking.
  4. Only converse when someone is in the same room.
  5. Never worry about asking someone to repeat themselves. You can even clarify what part of what they said you had trouble hearing. Never just nod and pretend you heard what someone said.
  6. Let others know how they can help you hear better and what they can do to communicate with you better.
  7. Turn down background noises whenever possible. When at home, turn off the television, radio, and any noises appliances that don’t need to be running when you are conversing. If you are visiting a friend, ask them for these accommodations too.
  8. In a crowded or noisy setting away from home, try to sit away from speakers or the kitchen and look for the quietest area to sit in. Consider the lighting too so that you can see the people you are talking to and pick up on visual queues.
  9. Try to limit distractions. Listening takes more work than talking, so you have to concentrate on it. Focus on what is being said.
  10. Use assistive hearing technology in conjunction with your hearing aids to help you hear at your best.

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