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Improving communication for people with hearing loss, their family and friends

Controlling the environment: General principles

This can make a big difference in aiding better communication. There are three general principles:

Reducing distance

Hearing aids work best when the talker is within 6 feet. Where possible, it is important to reduce distance and avoid talking from different rooms.

Reducing noise

Turn off the TV or move into a different room away from a noisy kettle or washing machine. It is easier to hear in rooms with soft furnishing which absorb sound rather than in those with hard surfaces that reflect sound, such as a kitchen. If possible, face people when you are speaking to them. Try to place noise behind a hearing aid user as the noise reduction technology in their hearing aids works best in this position.

Improve lighting

Good lighting helps us to read people's lips and expressions so switch lights on if lighting is poor. Try and ensure the light is on the face of the person speaking.

Video: Play the clip below.