Royal National Institute for Deaf People Website

Department of Health Website

Useful Tips from the Hearing Therapist

This page suggests some ways that a hearing aid user can increase how much they hear and understand in everyday conversation.

It includes information for other people, such as family, friends and co-workers, who can improve communication with hearing aid users by following some simple guidelines.

The last part has information about ways the environment can affect how well you can hear. There is also a list of devices that are available to help around the home.

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If you are a hearing aid user:

  • Face the speaker
  • 3-6 feet is ideal distance from the speaker
  • Position yourself so that light falls on the speakers face
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for repetition
  • Tell others about your hearing loss
  • Make use of visual clues/gestures/expression
  • Be assertive about your needs
  • Use closed questions to confirm information (e.g. “did you say 4 o’clock?” rather than “did you say 4 o’clock or 5 o’clock?”)

If you want to communicate with a hearing aid user:

  • Attract the listeners attention
  • Face the listener
  • Speak clearly and slightly more slowly but don’t overemphasise words
  • Make sure the listener knows the topic
  • Speak from within the same room
  • Keep cigarettes, drinks and food away from mouth when speaking
  • Re-phrase any misunderstood sentences

Think about your environment:

  • Reduce background noise where possible
  • Rooms with soft furnishings (eg carpets and curtains rather than wooden floors or shutters) have better acoustics
  • Use tablecloths/mats
  • Find a quiet corner of the room

Environmental Aids to help at home:

There are a number of devices available to help you get the most out of everyday appliances within the home, such as your TV, telephone, and doorbell. You can find out more about these devices and how to obtain them on the RNID website.

  • TV aids
    - Domestic loop system
    - Infra red
    - Portable amplifier with neckloop/headphones
  • Telephone devices:

    If you have trouble hearing your telephone ringing, you can attach either of the following:

    - Extension bell
    - Flashing light

If you have trouble hearing the person on the other end of the phone, you could try:

- Portable amplifier
- In-line amplifier
- Amplified telephone

  • Doorbells
    - Extra loud doorbell
    - Flashing light doorbell
    - Portable doorbell