Communicating in crowded rooms or with background noise can be hard even for people with normal hearing. But hearing implant users can have a hard time understanding everything that is said and therefore feel frustrated during a conversation. As a family member or friend of someone who uses a hearing implant or who has hearing loss, there are a few things you can do to help make communication easier.
Here are five tips for ways you can help.
1. Ask what helps
Ask your family member how they like to communicate, and what things you can do to make it easier for them. There is no one size fits all solution, so follow their lead.
2. Adjust Your Surroundings
Reduce background noise, move closer, face each other when speaking and get their attention before talking. All of these easy adjustments will help hearing implant recipients hear and understand a little easier when you are conversing. These tips help by either reducing any competing noise, making your voice clearer and easier to hear, or allowing better lip reading.
3. Use Key Word Signs
Learn some key words signs to help communication when your family member can’t wear their device, such as when swimming or just before bed. If you don’t use signs already, talk to your family member about what signs will be helpful for you to know.
4. Repeat or Clarify
Try not to say “never mind” when asked for repetition or clarification. Hearing implant recipients report feeling dismissed when others don’t take the time to explain parts of the conversation they may have missed. Help them to stay involved in group conversations and interactions in the moment.
5. Try Rehab Activities
Help with listening rehabilitation activities. When it comes to cochlear implant rehabilitation, hearing implant recipients need a partner to do the talking for them to practice their listening in structured activities. Here are some quick ideas to get started with:
- Ask your family member what rehabilitation activity you can help with.
- Find an interesting article and practice speech tracking.
- Try one of our other activities by downloading a handout.
Learn how to better manage conversations here.
For further rehab-related articles click here.
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The content on this website is for general informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please contact your doctor or hearing specialist to learn what type of hearing solution is suitable for your specific needs. Not all products, features, or indications shown are approved in all countries.