If you are living with hearing loss, you know that it takes extra effort to communicate with others.
There are techniques you can learn to improve communication and avoid stress. These techniques can also help you:
- Avoid becoming socially isolated
- Remain more independent
- Be safer wherever you are
Managing the Environment
Many things in your surroundings can affect how well you hear and understand what others are saying. These include:
- The type of room or space you are in, and how the room is set up.
- The distance between you and the person talking. Sound fades over distance, so you will be able to hear better if you are closer to the speaker.
- The presence of distracting background sounds, such as heat and air conditioning, traffic noises, or the radio or TV. In order for speech to be heard easily, it should be 20 to 25 decibels louder than any other surrounding noises.
- Hard floors and other surfaces that cause sounds to bounce and echo. It is easier to hear in rooms with carpeting and upholstered furniture.
Changes in your house or office can help you hear better:
- Make sure there is enough lighting to see facial features and other visual cues.
- Position your chair so that your back is to a light source rather than your eyes.
- If your hearing is better in one ear, position your chair so the person talking is more likely to speak into your stronger ear.