If you are unable to afford hearing aids, there are a few strategies that could help you hear and communicate better:
- Make eye contact with the person that you are talking to and make sure that you can see their face and mouth clearly.
- If you have a hearing loss, don’t try and hide it. When others are aware of it, they will make the effort to look at you directly when talking to you and they will speak clearly and repeat themselves if necessary.
- Rather than pretending to hear what someone said, rather ask them to repeat themselves or at least verify what you think you heard so that they can repeat parts of what you missed. This will also prevent you from isolating yourself from the conversation and rather stay involved in it.
- If you find that competing noises, such as music, air conditioners or refrigerators get in the way of you hearing, if possible, try and turn these off.
- Try and stand close to the person you wish to hear talking.
- Plan ahead by choosing quieter restaurants if possible or go home at a time that is less busy. At events, try and select your seating which is further away from background noise sources and closer to the person that is speaking.
- Be patient and give yourself a break; if you cannot hear what someone is saying, let them know. They will appreciate knowing that you have difficulty hearing.
- It is not your fault, nor is it the fault of the person you are speaking to.