When you have hearing loss, everyday listening environments that most people don’t pause to think about can be a challenge. Below are some tips for improving your listening and communication in some challenging everyday situations.
With the current state of the world, many people in the workforce are telecommuting, which poses more challenges for people with hearing loss than ever before. Try these tips on your next video call:
- Sync your hearing aids. If you wear hearing aids that have Bluetooth connectivity, sync them to your computer, tablet or whatever device you’re using to telecommute for optimum sound clarity.
- Use noise-cancelling headphones. If you don’t have Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids, try using noise-cancelling headphones during virtual meetings. Because they block ambient sounds, you’ll have an easier time following the conversation than if you use your computer speakers or earbuds.
- Advocate for yourself. If you are having difficulty following the conversation, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask your colleagues to accommodate your communication needs.
In Public Spaces
When it comes to navigating the public sphere, preparing in advance is the best way to go. As restaurants, theaters and other public spaces begin to open, try the following tips.
When going out to eat, do you research find a small, intimate restaurant. Venues with carpeting, drapes and padded booths will absorb more background noise than restaurants with open floor plans with wood or metal accents. Once you arrive, ask the hostess to seat you away from the kitchen and front door. You can also ask for a printed list of the day’s specials rather than having the waiter convey them out loud.
At theaters and museums, call ahead to see what assistive listening devices they offer. Many will provide noise-cancelling headsets, audio headsets and t-coil compatibility. Look for a t-coil symbol (blue sign with a white ear icon), which means all you have to do is push the t-coil button on your hearing aid and sound will be sent directly to the device.
No matter where you go, don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself. If you have trouble understanding, ask your conversation partner to move to a quieter space to talk, rephrase what they said or speak a little louder.
For more communication tips or to schedule an appointment with an expert audiologist, call Decibel Hearing Services today.