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Talking with someone
who has a hearing loss

  • Make it easy for the person to see you
  • Before you speak, get the person's attention, for example by saying their name.
  • Try to be within 4 feet of them.
  • Don't turn or lower your head or have your hand or a long moustache over your mouth.
  • Light on your face helps (not standing with a window close behind you).
  • Speak clearly, and loudly if necessary - but definitely don't shout.
  • Background noise makes listening difficult - try to reduce it or move away from the noise.
  • A hearing aid doesn't make hearing normal. It makes sounds louder, but not necessarily clearer. It amplifies background noise that you don't want to hear - for example, if you are having a conversation while washing dishes, you hear lots of swishing and clattering!
  • Some people with hearing loss are sensitive to loud sounds. There is not a big range between what is audible and what is uncomfortably loud. (This is trying!)
  • Having a hearing loss often means concentrating very hard to hear. Listening intently is tiring and getting tired makes it harder to follow what is being said.
  • These points are summarised from one of the very helpful handouts available form HEAR Service (VicDeaf).
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