Tactics to Improve Listening and Hearing
Abridged from an article by Mark Ross, Ph.D., audiologist and professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut.
Hearing tactics means changing the environment to make it easier for you to understand people. That means that you plan ahead, marshal your resources, and engage the “enemy” — the difficult communication situation. Here are some examples:
Always try to get closer to the person talking. This is a valuable but underestimated technique. If you’re eight feet from someone and you move to within four feet, the voice is significantly louder.
Quiet the room
When you walk into a restaurant and hear loud music, what do you do? If you explain that music makes speech comprehension virtually impossible, the manager may graciously comply with your request—and other diners will thank you!
Ask for the quietest table. Better yet, look for restaurants that encourage private conversations. Seat yourself in the center of your group, where it’s easier for you to see and hear everyone.
Many people feel they should have music on when entertaining people in their home. A gentle reminder to turn it off usually suffices. The television should be turned down or off, or try to move your personal conversation to a quieter area in the house.
You can also ask that only one person talk at a time. Cross-conversation presents one of the most difficult situations for people with hearing loss.
Before you attend a lecture, call ahead to see if they have an assistive listening device available. I would not attend any large area listening situation without one. Otherwise, I either don’t know what’s going on or I’m straining so hard to hear that I don’t enjoy the activity.
Remember the three themes.
- Acknowledge your hearing loss.
- Be assertive in approaching hearing situations.
- Remember that your efforts serve the purposes of both parties in the communication exchange.
Condensed with permission from The Consumer Handbook on Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids, Richard Carmen, Editor.
Copyright Hearing Healthcare News