Groupe Forget - Polyclinique de l'Oreille
Strategies for Communicating in Noisy Environments

Strategies for Communicating in Noisy Environments

Communicating in noisy places, like restaurants or in groups, is particularly difficult for people with hearing loss. The pandemic has created an additional and specific challenge, as mask wearing is a major impediment to communication. Communication strategies may be key in these situations, especially if the mask worn does not have a see-through window. If a safe distance can be maintained, the person you are speaking with could take off their mask.

Here are some communication strategies that may be helpful.

  • Keep ambient noise to a minimum (i.e. turn the TV or radio off).
  • Move to a quieter spot (along a wall or in a corner).
  • Position yourself so that the source of the noise is behind you.
  • Make sure the lighting is sufficient for you to see the other person’s lips and facial expressions.
  • Get closer
  • In a group, position yourself so you can see everyone.
  • Talk with only a few people at a time.
  • Take turns speaking one at a time.
  • Use your hearing aids when you can and adjust them to the noise reduction setting.
  • Tell others about your hearing loss and what you need.
  • Validate what you understood and ask people to clarify or rephrase, if necessary.




BY AMELIE DESMARAIS , Audiologist, Polyclinique de l’Oreille

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments