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Knowing How to Interact with People Who Have Hearing Loss

Communicating with someone with hearing loss can be tricky. Life is even more difficult for the individual who is hard of hearing.

At Sound Advice Hearing Solutions in Sherwood Park, we understand the struggle at both ends. We present a list of simple ways to improve communication with your acquaintances and loved ones facing hearing loss.

Interacting with Family, Friends, & Colleagues with Hearing Loss

Here are some ways you can communicate your thoughts and words to those struggling to hear:


  • Wave or touch a person’s shoulder to draw his/her attention. You don’t have to make a big gesture - a small movement of the hand is usually enough

  • Waving in someone’s face is considered rude

  • Make and keep eye contact with the person – breaking eye contact may indicate the conversation is over

  • If you are in a noisy environment, see if you can move to a quiet spot

  • Ensure that you stand in a well-lit area. It is easier for them to read your lips / facial expressions

  • Be patient when either you or the person experiencing hearing loss have difficulty in understanding or getting the message across

  • Rephrase, rather than repeat sentences that the person does not understand

  • Speak clearly so that the person can see and read your lips. Lip reading is made more difficult if you chew gum or something obscures your face and mouth

  • Use your regular tone of voice when having a conversation, unless the person tells you otherwise

  • Use facial expressions to correspond with the topic and mood discussion

  • A good old pen and paper can also help when either of you has a hard time understanding

  • Use basic signs to support what you are saying, like pointing in a direction or waving goodbye

  • Make sure only one person is speaking at a time

Communication Strategies for Those Who Wear Hearing Aids

Knowing what to do is the key to managing your hearing loss.


  • Use your hearing aids all day, every day

  • Move to a quiet place to talk if at all possible

  • Make sure you have good lighting. It will help with speechreading and facial cues

  • Try to avoid “other room” syndrome - always be in the same room as the person you are speaking with

  • Make sure the person you are speaking with is in the same room as you are and they are talking and looking at you, not with their back turned

  • On the phone, repeat the information back to the speaker to make sure you have it right, especially phone numbers and addresses

  • Sit closest to those you wish to speak with

  • Ask people to speak slowly and to look at you while speaking

  • Ask people to speak to you in a normal tone

  • In a restaurant – sit in a booth, not close to the kitchen or windows

  • Do not bluff and nod as if you understand something when you don’t. Ask questions, make sure you understand what is being said. Be honest and open about your hearing loss

  • Use assistive listening devices if necessary. This may include closed captioning on your television, an amplifier on your phone, signalling devices or an FM or infrared device. Many hearing aids today have Bluetooth that can be paired to a phone or other device with sound transmitted directly through the hearing aid

  • Make the best of the hearing you have and remember to keep your sense of humour

Do You Know Someone with Hearing Loss?

Sound Advice Hearing Solutions can help. Please get in touch with us for more information.

Speak to Us

Sound Advice Hearing Solutions




Sherwood Park

134-80 Chippewa Road,

Sherwood Park, AB T8A 4W6

(Parking available at the rear end of the building.)

Opening Hours

Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Saturday - Sunday: Closed

St Paul

5009-50th Ave,

St Paul, AB T0A 3A4

Opening Hours

Tuesday: 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

By appointment only

Professional Affiliations


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