Even if we don’t realise it, we all lip read a little, and developing this skill can be helpful for all severities of hearing loss. Adult education centres and colleges of further education often run lip reading classes. Ask us for further information, or contact the Association of Teachers of Lip Reading to Adults.
Consider your listening environment
Think about the situation you are in try and get into the best position for hearing someone. For example, you will always understand people better if you can see their faces clearly when they speak.
Also think about other sound sources; are you sat near a music speaker in a pub or restaurant? Are you sat by a door where people are walking through regularly? Is the kettle on or the tap running when you are trying to have a conversation?
The décor can also have an impact on the sound – are there lots of hard surfaces that might be causing an echo? Is it easier to have a conversation in the living room with softer furnishings than it is to talk in the kitchen or in a dining room with a large table in it?
Ask your family and friends to help. You probably won't hear them if they speak to you from another room. They should face you and speak clearly. Shouting distorts our voice and lip patterns, and can make it harder for you to understand them.
Aids to daily living
There are many devices and products that can help you to hear better in a variety of situations, for example, amplified telephones, flashing doorbells, and alarm clocks that flash or vibrate. There is also equipment that can help with listening to the radio or television.