Tactics for good hearing
Some of the following eight tactics, produced by the Institute of Hearing Research, Nottingham, will probably work for you. You may find it helpful to show this to your family and friends and ask them to read through it.
Use your eyes
Make sure that you can see the face of the person you are talking with. Watch their lips - this gives vital information about what is being said. If the person’s face is in shadow lipreading will be more difficult.
Always try to position yourself so the light falls on the face of the person talking. Try not to have anything between you and the other person that might obscure your view of their face. Move closer to the person who is speaking, but not so close that you make them feel uneasy – the ideal distance is between 3 and 6 feet.
Don’t try to shout from another room – communication is very difficult if the speaker and the listener are in different rooms.
Many people are as expressive with their hands and face as they are with their words. So take note of the speaker’s facial expressions and gestures. They help to illustrate the speaker’s topic, attitude, and also their mood and feelings.
Their tone of voice, speed of talking, and stress on particular words also give clues.
Encourage friends and family to use gestures more.
Controlling and coping with noise
When having a conversation, try to keep the background noise to a minimum. Avoid corridors, roadsides, and pubs when they are full and busy – suggest going to a quiet room to talk.
At home it will help to have soft furnishings such as heavy curtains.
In a hall, church or theatre sit close to the front, or close to one of the speakers.
Listening to radio or TV
Adjust the tone controls to achieve the best sound balance for you:
Keep calm and carry on the conversation
Don't expect to hear every word.
Body language is a natural part of any conversation, and you can use it to help show when you haven'y understood what's been said.
Helping others to help you
Explain as precisely as possible what factors make it difficult to hear.
People are generally very happy to try and communicate in the way that works best for you, but they sometimes need some help in learning how to do this!
Always show appreciation when people have shown consideration of your difficulties.
For more advice on good tactics for hearing and communication, please get in touch with our Advisory Service.