Wearing hearing aids is your first step in helping you hear and understand your family and friends. But, even with that extra help, hearing aids will not give you normal hearing. Here are a few simple tips to help you get the most you can from your hearing aids.
- Reduce background noise. It is hard to understand speech when there is a lot of noise in the background. You can reduce the level of the background noise by simply closing an open window or door, turning off the music, turning down the television, or moving to a quieter area.
- Check for visual cues. Visual cues including reading lips and watching facial expressions can help you better understand the conversation. If you want to practice, try reading visual cues by watching TV.
- Turn up the lights. Good lighting helps you see the face of the speaker, making visual cues easier to see and understand.
- Move closer to the speaker. You will hear better if you are closer to the person speaking, especially in areas with background noise. The further away you are from the speaker, the harder it is to see visual cues and hear speech.
- Repeat and rephrase. If you did not understand what was said, repeat back what you heard, so the speaker can rephrase what you missed. Or, write down important information.
- Ask specific questions. Ask for important information specifically and in a way that requires a yes or no answer. For example, "Is this the train to Washington?"
- Stand up for yourself. Do not be afraid to ask people to speak more slowly or to repeat what they said. If you tell them that you have a hearing loss, the speaker can be more understanding and try to speak more clearly.
Better Hearing Institute. Tips for Hearing in Noise. Accessed March 2008. Available at: http://www.betterhearing.org/hearing_solutions/hearing_noise_tips.cfm.