Communicating with someone who has a hearing loss

It can be difficult for people who have a hearing loss to communicate with those around them. Wearing a hearing aid will help, but they also need patience and understanding from their family and friends.


Tips for communicating more effectively

  • First, gain their attention. Face the person directly and, whenever possible, remain at the same eye level. Missing the beginning of the message can make understanding very difficult.

  • Speak clearly, but don’t shout.

  • Keep your hands away from your face. Give the listener every chance to see your whole face.

  • Reduce background noise by turning off the radio or television. Relatively quiet listening conditions are recommended because this provides the best-possible voice reception and allows the listener to use any visual cues they may need to assist speech understanding.

  • Make sure light is not shining in the listener’s eyes.

  • If you’re not making yourself understood, find a different way of saying the same thing.

  • Be aware that the listener may have difficulty understanding speech, even with a hearing aid. Some hearing-impaired people have more difficulty following a conversation than others.

Remember that communication is a two-way process. Both the listener and the speaker should take responsibility for clear communications.

Australian Hearing is the leading provider of hearing loss support services and devices. For more information on hearing loss we’re happy to chat.