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Self-Test

  1. Do you have difficulty understanding speech?

  2. Do your family and friends think you have difficulty understanding speech?

  3. Do you think your friends and family members mumble?

  4. Do you prefer the volume of the television louder than others?

  5. Do you have difficulty hearing in your house of worship?

  6. Do you avoid social situations and taking part in conversations because you do not understand speech clearly?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may have hearing loss.

Suggestions To Improve Communication

When someone is speaking to you, it is important to have them get your attention before speaking. They should say your name, tap you lightly, or gesture before speaking so you may direct your attention to them.

The talker should look directly at the listener. Most people lipread without realizing it. Reduce the distance between the talker and you. A person with a hearing loss may not be able to understand speech from another room, or if the talker is turned and not facing you.

Advise the talker to speak naturally, but not fast. The talker may speak slightly louder than normal, but not shout. Shouting usually does not help, and in fact, can cause discomfort.

Reduce as much background noise as possible. Turn off the television or radio if necessary. Pick quieter restaurants.

Choose a well-lighted environment.

The talker may need to rephrase information rather than repeating misunderstood words. Some words are heard more easily than others.

In addition to a hearing aid, you may benefit from an assistive listening device to improve your ability to hear in difficult situations.