Not hearing like you used to? No problem. We've got some tricks to get around it.
#1 Listen with your eyes
93% of communication is nonverbal-it's the single most powerful form of communication. Give the person speaking your full attention in an area that's well lit. Watch for visible speech movements, facial expressions and body gestures. And react with visible acknowledgements of your own so the speaker can pick up on your visual cues.
#2 Be honest
Tell your family and friends about your hearing loss and set realistic expectations. Be assertive and explain to others the best way to talk to you. If you're at a party, don't be afraid to suggest stepping away from or turning down background music so you can hear better.
#3 Say what?!
Don't be embarrassed to ask people to rephrase or slow down. Ask for clarification when necessary. A good technique to confirm what you thought you heard is to repeat the phrase back to the person speaking.
#4 Avoid the crowd
Avoid noisy areas when possible. Groups tend to speak at a faster rate so limit the number of people you speak with at one time and embrace smaller gatherings. Make sure you sit within 3 to 6 feet of the person speaking.
#5 Lead the conversation
Initiate topics of conversation based on your interest and participate in the discussion. Being aware of current events and pop culture can also help you understand the conversation and fill in any blanks.
#6 Keep smiling
Stay positive and relax. Hearing loss affects 1 in 9 Americans so chances are that someone else you meet today is experiencing what you are, too. It pays to keep up your sense of humor.
If you're concerned about your hearing health, take our quick hearing quiz today.