Hearing Loss: Tips for Better Communication


If you have family members, friends or work colleagues with hearing loss, are you able to communicate effectively with them?

People with hearing loss sometimes find it challenging to carry on a conversation with one person, and participating in a group discussion can be overwhelming. Often they cannot follow comments and end up feeling isolated from the conversation.

The University of California San Francisco Medical Center offers several tips to improve communication with people who’ve experienced hearing loss, including:

  1. Use the person’s name when you’re speaking to them
  2. Talk in a well-lit room, free of excessive outside noise, so the hearing-impaired person can see visual cues and hear the discussion
  3. Speak clearly, slowly and distinctly
  4. Avoid shouting or exaggerating words as this distorts sounds and makes speech-reading more difficult
  5. Do not cover your face when speaking
  6. When changing discussion topics, make sure the hearing-impaired person is aware of the switch
  7. Watch for visual cues from the hearing-impaired person, such as a puzzled look, that may indicate confusion or misunderstanding
  8. If a hearing-impaired person doesn’t understand a concept or phrase, say it in a different way vs. repeating yourself

To learn more about dealing with hearing issues, read these articles:

Tips to Improve Communication When Talking with Someone with Hearing Loss

Communicating with People Who Have Hearing Loss

Living with Hearing Loss