Hearing Loss: Tips for Better Communication

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If you’re living with hearing loss, conversations can be a challenge. But sometimes “the most effective aids are small lifestyle changes,” says Rosellen Reif, a counselor in Raleigh, N.C., who helps people with physical disabilities.

Here are some things that can help.

Ask for a heads up. Have loved ones say your name and get your attention before they start talking. For example, “Mom, where are the car keys?”

Face others when they’re speaking. Make sure you can see a person’s face and lips when they talk. Their expressions and body language will put what they’re saying in context.

Turn off other noise. When you want to have a conversation, switch off things that can drown it out, like a TV or radio, or move away from them. When you’re going out to eat, ask for a table away from large parties or the kitchen.