Hearing loss is “invisible,” and those around you may not realize that you are missing part or all of a conversation. Acknowledging your hearing loss and educating others about your listening needs will facilitate successful communication. Many are unaware of strategies that can improve communication. Education and gentle reminders to use strategies are helpful to improve communication.
Below are some suggested phrases to share when encountering common communication hindrances:
“Please get my attention before speaking to me. It is helpful if you say my name or tap me on the shoulder to ensure you have my attention before beginning to speak.”
“Please look at me when speaking. I benefit from seeing your mouth for speechreading cues.”
“Please speak slowly and clearly. It is difficult for me to hear some speech sounds when speech is spoken quickly.”
“Please reduce the background noise. I will hear you better if the television/radio/dish washer/fan is turned off.”
“Please don’t cover your mouth while speaking to me. I benefit from seeing your mouth for speechreading cues.”
“Could you please repeat that? (If still experience difficulty after repetition, indicate “Could you please rephrase that? I am hearing part of the message, but missing a few key pieces of information.”)
“Please let me know if the topic of conversation changes. Please give me a clue such as: Movie. What movie would you like to see?”
For more communication suggestions, you can find tips at the Better Hearing Institute.