It’s time to visit your parents, but you’re not looking forward to it. Dad’s hearing is starting to go, and it’s getting tougher to have conversations where he understands you at all. You’re getting frustrated and he’s getting embarrassed. Of course you want him to get hearing aids, but is there anything you can do to have clear conversations with him before then? Absolutely. Face him directlyIf you face dad, he can see your mouth and facial expressions. The visual cues will add additional information to help him hear better. Speak clearly, slowly, and distinctlyWhile speaking a little bit louder may help, shouting actually distorts your voice. And take your time saying what you have to say. There’s a better chance you won’t have to say it a second time. Don’t block your face with your handsCovering your mouth, eating, and smoking block visual cues that can help dad understand you. Don’t talk from another roomJust like blocking your face, if you’re in another room and dad can’t see what you’re saying, he’s going to have a hard time understanding you. The added distance also makes your voice quieter and harder to understand. Don’t interrupt other speakersSimultaneous speakers can be very confusing. If you don’t wait for mom to finish speaking, dad might not notice that you’ve said something and can lose the thread of the conversation. Minimize extraneous/loud noisesLoud noises distract and interfere with speech. Turn off the TV and avoid large groups settings if you and dad want to chat. Get his attention firstIf he is paying attention to you, he’s going to have an easier time understanding what you’re saying. Pay attention to himMake sure to pay attention to dad’s reactions. Does he look confused or like he can’t follow the conversation? Paying attention to him can let you know if you have to repeat something you just said. Be patientRemember, as frustrating as it is to have to repeat things, it is also frustrating to have to ask people to repeat them. People with hearing loss can hear in your tone if you are irritated and will give up on attempts to communicate. This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your physician. If you or someone you love has hearing loss, make an appointment with a CEENTA audiologist by calling 704-295-3300. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.