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By Dr. Michelle Looney

Hearing loss greatly impacts an individual’s ability to communicate.  Especially now, during the time of wearing mask, those with hearing loss are struggling. Visual cues are an important part of communication and mask remove those helpful cues.  Difficulties communicating not only affect those with hearing loss, but also his or her communication partners.  Those with hearing loss may misunderstand information being communicated as well as become fatigued due to the effort needed to hear the information.  The communication partner may become tired and frustrated having to repeat themselves often or being misunderstood. There are important communication strategies available for both the individual with hearing loss as well as the communication partner in order to improve communication and help alleviate possible strain on a relationship.  Some of those strategies are listed below.

Hearing Impaired Individual  

-Wear hearing aids consistently

-Reduce as much background noise as possible

-Try and avoid dinner rush by arriving just even 30 minutes earlier

-Make sure the speaker is well lit to use visual cues

-Reduce distance between yourself and the speaker

-Inform others of your hearing loss (waiters and friends), so they can help accommodate

-Ask speaker to speak slowly and clearly

-Repeat information that was heard instead of only saying “what?”

 Communication Partner 

-Get the person’s attention before starting a conversation

-Speak slowly and clearly

-Face the person while speaking (not from another room or while walking away)

-Do not cover your mouth

-Write down important information such as meeting dates and times

-Confirm understanding if person seems confused or unsure what was said

-Rephrase information if asked to clarify

-Spell words out if necessary

-Avoid interrupting or talking over others

Please contact us with any questions or for further resources.

Hearing Partners of South Florida

Delray – 561-638-6530          Boynton – 561-736-6002          Jupiter – 561-888-7260


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