A common complaint for those with hearing loss is that everybody mumbles.  This issue is because the clarity sounds of speech, such as “f”, “s”, “sh”, “th”, “t”, are not heard even with a mild degree of loss.

Whether you are speaking with a person that wears hearing aids or not, below are some ways to improve their understanding of the conversation…

SPEAK SLOWLY – Speaking quickly can cause someone to miss key words of a conversation.

MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT –  Many realize the difficulty of friends and family speaking with their back turned to them or from another room.  Face to face communication is a great way to utilize the facial cues to supplement speech.  

UTILIZE LIP READING – Try not to exaggerate your lip movements and speak with a natural flow. Over emphasis on words while speaking can interfere with the natural forming of your lips.

MINIMIZE BACKGROUND NOISE – Decreasing extra and unwanted noise is an effective way to not drowned out a conversation, but to enhance speech.  Turning off the television or sitting in a booth at a restaurant are examples of this communication strategy.

Jenessa Stiles, Au.D.

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