There are many factors besides just your ears that contribute to how you hear and listen. The environment, the person you are talking with, and your emotional or energetic state can all impact how much you comprehend.
Here are some tips for better hearing:
- Reduce background noise. The acoustics in a room can impact your ability to follow a conversation. When possible, choose places that are quiet, have carpeting and are not facing noisy streets or construction sites. You can also position yourself with your back to the wall to minimize echo in the background.
- Make sure that you can see the face of the person you are talking with. People with hearing loss often rely on visual cues of facial expression and lip reading for optimal communication. Be aware of glare from bright windows or lights, and don’t be afraid to ask to move or shut blinds. The details of a person’s face become obscured when bright sunny window is directly behind them.
- Get rest and take breaks. Hearing loss can be stressful and can require extra work on the part of the person with hearing loss to strain and follow along. Get to know yourself and pay attention to when you have most energy. Remember to give yourself breaks from an exhausting situation or environment where you are having difficulty following along.
- Know and understand how Assistive Technology can help you.
- Talk about your hearing loss. The people in your life want to communicate with you, but they may not understand your needs unless you tell them. This can be frustrating, because you might have to explain it to them many times because they might forget since they are not used to it, but don’t give up! Communication is the key for relationships.
- Find a support group with others with hearing loss. Sitting in a supportive context with other people who relate to your experience is empowering and healing. You can learn strategies and coping tools, and also feel better knowing that you’re not alone. Finding a counselor or therapist, especially one familiar with hearing loss, who you can talk with can also help.