Q. My parents, aunts, and uncles have a lot of trouble having conversations when we gather during the holidays. Aside from them hearing aids, what can we do to hear each other better?
A. Being in a noisy environment or in a talkative crowd puts a damper on how clearly everyone hears and understands. Here are three ‘Golden Rules’ to keep in mind so you and those around you hear each other better.
Golden Rule #1: Maintain good eye contact. When you see (maskless) people talk, you get more clues about what they are saying.
Golden Rule #2: Speak a little more slowly. During family gatherings, conversations can often get excited, fast and LOUD. Speaking more slowly ensures you are pronouncing words more clearly while also giving your captive audience more time to understand what you are saying.
Golden Rule #3: Speak one at a time. When more than one person is talking at a time, all the words collide together and create a ‘word fog’ that is thick and unclear.
Lastly, I would encourage you all to be patient and kind with each other. Not hearing well can cause a person to feel outcast, embarrassed, and frustrated. Family members should not add insult to injury by making fun of or ignoring a loved one having trouble hearing well.
Need to hear better? Call us at the Better Hearing Center of Austin 512-282-4327 for a free assessment, ear check-up and hearing test. Listen to the new Oticon More hearing aids and find out what better hearing sounds like. We also provide 4-week, no-obligation trials.
Saleem Assaf (BA – Rice, MBA – UT) is a native Dallas, Texan and a recipient of KVUE’s 2020 award for 5 Who Care and the Texas Hearing Aid Association’s 2018 Dispenser of the Year award. Since 2008, he has purchased a multitude of hearing aids for students at the Texas School for the Deaf.