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I can hear with my hearing aids but sometimes I have trouble understanding what people are saying. Why?

Margaret ("Peggy") Tomko

Professional Member

15 September 2017 - 3.07K Views

Have you noticed if there is a pattern to the situations in which you have trouble understanding what people are saying?

Hearing aids are an excellent solution to help with hearing loss, but they are not a cure. There are many factors that can contribute to speech understanding, including but not limited to the following:

  • Type, configuration, and severity of hearing loss
  • Environmental challenges
  • Cognitive function
  • Programming of hearing aids

Often, people have to use effective communication strategies in combination with their hearing aids. Try these:

  1. Situate yourself face-to-face with the person speaking so that you can get clues from facial expression, gestures, and lip-reading. This also reduces the distance over which their voice has to travel before it arrives at your hearing aid microphones.
  2. Reduce background noise when you can. For example: turn the television down, step out of noisy rooms (laundry room, kitchen, etc.).
  3. Ask people to speak slowly and clearly. Sometimes it is not a matter of how loudly people speak, rather it is how well they enunciate.
  4. Ask people to obtain your attention first before they begin speaking to you. When you have hearing loss, it requires a lot more attention and mental effort to understand what people are saying; if they start speaking before your attention is fully engaged, you are likely to miss the message.

Please see your audiologist or hearing instrument specialist for more tips and to see if there are any programming adjustments that can be made to the hearing aids. Good luck!

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