Tips for communicating when you have hearing loss

Be assertive

If you feel comfortable, let people know you have trouble hearing and tell them the best way to talk to you.

Reduce background noise

Reduce background noise or find a quieter place to have a conversation. Turn off or move away from the television, radio or other noise sources.

Use context

If you are having trouble understanding, try to focus on the theme of the conversation. You can fill in missed words more easily if you understand the general context. You can also ask them to confirm you have understood correctly. For example, “you said your new niece’s name is Lisa, is that correct?”

Face the person

Make sure you can see the other person’s face during a conversation. We understand visual cues from facial expressions and how different sounds look on people’s lips when spoken. We can use these cues to help us figure out what a word might be if we miss it.

Ask for clarification

Ask the person to clarify what you missed, rather than repeat the information. For example, “I’m sorry, I missed where you said you were going on Sunday afternoon?”

Rephrase instead of repeat

Ask the person to rephrase what they are saying. For example, “I keep missing that last part about your new car, could you please try saying it a different way for me?”

Be kind to yourself

There will be times when you don’t hear well no matter what you try— this is an expected part of hearing loss. If you are tired or unwell, you’ll likely find it more difficult.

Develop your own strategies

Hearing loss affects people in different ways. It is important to work out what works for you. It can help to try and think outside the box. For example, can you ask the person to write down what they have said?

Seek help

Remember that if you are experiencing hearing loss, you can get help.

Book a hearing assessment at HearSmart

We are the only independently-owned local hearing service provider to the Yarra Valley providing hearing, balance, tinnitus assessment and solutions. We help people of all ages with their hearing needs.



321 Main Street, Lilydale, VIC 3140

(03) 9735 3322