Tips For Those with Hearing Loss and Loved Ones to Improve Communications

Learn easy ways to communicate more effectively.

two people talking representing how to improve communication with hearing impairment

Changes in hearing can occur to anyone. This happens gradually, typically in both ears. Or, you may be experiencing hearing loss related to your work or recreational activities, a chronic condition, an illness, a medication or simple aging and genetics.

Denial is the most important barrier to taking care of your ear heath, hearing aid device use and to living your full life.

For Someone Experiencing Hearing Loss

Stop making excuses for not seeking help by saying:

  • “Everyone is mumbling” or “speak up”
  • “My hearing’s not bad enough for a hearing aid”
  • “I’m ashamed” or “It makes me feel too old” or “it’s embarrassing to wear a hearing aid”
  • They cost too much

What can you do as someone with hearing loss?

  • Go closer to speaker – don’t try to listen from another room
  • Get fitted with the right hearing aids/assistive technology
  • Take listening breaks
  • Ask the person speaking to slow down
  • Ask the speaker to turn so you can see their face
  • Admit when you’re having trouble hearing/understanding

For Loved Ones

What can family and friends do?

  • Speak clearly in a normal tone of voice
  • Get their attention before speaking
  • Don’t shout
  • Keep your hands away from your mouth/face them and don’t block your face
  • Build breaks into the conversation
  • Talk in quieter places
  • Offer to attend doctor appointments with them and take notes


  1. AHSA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association) Tips for Improving Your Listening Experience (
  2. AHSA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association) Support for Caregivers and Families of People with Hearing Loss (
  3. AHSA (American Speech-Language Hearing Association) Age-Related Hearing Loss (