Ear Care

Helping Me Hear

The support and understanding of family and friends is very important for any person with a hearing difficulty – child or adult. Accusations that a hearing impaired person “hears only want they want to hear” are unjust. Actually they hear “only what they can”.

The following suggestions can make conversations easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Get my attention BEFORE speaking

  • say my name or touch me
  • come close – no more than 1.5m
  • turn down the radio/TV
  • “the person who talks, walks” – please don’t speak from another room, walk to me

Face me

  • stand or sit still – with the light on your face
  • avoid covering your mouth

Speak clearly

  • at moderate speed
  • only slightly louder than usual
  • get to the point
  • use sentences – not single words

If I don’t understand?

  • encourage me to let you know
  • only repeat once – if I still do not understand please choose different words
  • ask for feedback – make sure I definately heard any important messages
  • consider writing the key words

Give me time to respond

  • sometimes it takes time to unscramble the message that I did hear
  • if I’m tired, worried, ill or distracted it may take longer

Things to avoid

  • shouting
  • speaking too fast
  • not speaking clearly
  • turning away
  • obstructing your mouth
  • too many words/parts to the message
  • saying “Oh, it doesn’t matter”
  • speaking in loud background noise