Phones have become an essential asset to our day-to-day living, but for people with hearing loss, they can pose difficulties daily. That being said, we’ve identified several ways to help ensure your calls are smoother and easier to understand.
It takes two to telephone, so when you’re calling someone with hearing loss, it’s important to be mindful of who’s listening. A few simple steps can make all the difference.
- Find a quiet spot to make the call. Background noise from the street or nearby electronics may distract whoever is on the other end of the phone.
- Speak clearly and directly into the phone’s mouthpiece. But not too close! This could distort your voice and speech clarity.
- Choose the right speaking volume to ensure you neither shout nor mumble.
- Speak at a natural speed. Speaking too slowly can make someone feel embarrassed or ashamed.
- Be considerate of what time you call. Hearing loss can worsen when a person is tired or ill, so avoid calling at disruptive times.
Conversely, there are simple steps to take when you’re the person with hearing loss and you need to hop on the phone.
- Try to use a landline. Generally speaking, they are easier to hear and be heard on, but some mobiles can be optimised for hearing loss.*
- Let people know the best time to call you. If you get tired as the day goes on, it’s best to schedule calls for earlier when your ears won’t be fighting overall exhaustion.
- Never pretend you heard something you didn’t. There’s nothing wrong with misunderstanding what someone said. Simply ask for them to repeat it to avoid embarrassment.
- Consider using video calls. Lip reading is hugely helpful when it comes to hearing loss, and applications such as FaceTime give you a better idea of what the other person is annunciating.
*Another consideration is purchasing a phone optimised for those with hearing loss. An amplified phone has additional features that can increase the sound of incoming calls, the volume of the ringer, etc. Other phones that are equipped with an inductive coupler can reduce background noises, making your chats as clear as possible. These devices should be marked with an ear symbol or as “hearing aid compatible”.
As always, if you’re having doubts about your hearing, it’s best to first book a hearing test. Contact Connect Hearing at the email below, and improve your health and your life with a simple click.