Better Hearing Requires More Than Hearing Aids
Developing Listening Skills at Home
Your hearing device is only the first step in a long journey to better hearing. We’ve put together a list of some help helpful resources you can utilize to make the most of your hearing aids and improve your communication abilities.
- Angel Sound: Interactive listing rehabilitation activities
- Communication Corner: Online programs for listening practice, especially on the telephone
- The Listening Room: Online lessons for adults and children, separated by skill set and difficulty level
- Read My Quips: Word games and puzzles that can help you practice understanding speech in noise
- LACE: LACE is an acronym for Listening And Communication Enhancement. Conceived by leading audiologists at the University of California at San Francisco, LACE is an interactive computerized aural rehabilitation program that has already helped thousands of people who live with some degree of hearing loss increase their listening skills by up to 45 percent.
Simple Practice at Home:
- Listen to books on tape or CD while reading along in the book. Work your way up to more challenging literature as your training progresses.
- Without relying on speech-reading, have someone say the names of people you know. Listen to see if you can figure out who they are naming.
- Listen to public radio. Talk shows are a good way to practice on the road. Since they often deal with current events, public radio often gives you clues about the topic of conversation.
- Practice talking to a close friend or family member on speaker phone. You can also call Telephone with Confidence for daily passages to practice listening.
Communication Tips for Family and Friends of Those With Hearing Loss
Better communication strategies can smooth the period of adjustment required when individuals start wearing hearing aids, and can help reassure both the person with hearing loss and their family members or loved ones that they’re being understood clearly.
- Sit or stand within 3 to 6 feet to maximize audibility.
- Remain at eye level to foster visual cues.
- Gain the person’s attention before speaking.
- Use facial expressions and gestures to give clues to the meaning of your message.
- Raise your voice but do not shout, because loud speech may sound distorted.
- Speak slowly and distinctly.
- Use short, simple sentences.
- Rephrase your words if the person does not appear to understand or responds inappropriately.
- Avoid speaking directly into the person’s ear, because it can distort your message and hide all visual cues.
If you or someone you care about remains uncertain if they are experiencing a treatable level of hearing loss, take our online hearing assessment quiz to test your hearing, or contact us to schedule a complete hearing consultation.