Just because we are social distancing doesn’t mean we have to be distant from our friends and family. Communicating in other ways that are not face to face is the new normal with apps like Zoom, Houseparty, Whatapps and video calls becoming more and more popular.
This is just wonderful as social contact is so important for our mental health and to stay connected to loved ones. Many young children can’t understand why they can’t see Grandma anymore but at least if they can show her their new dance moves or rollerblading skills on a video call – that is just as good!
So now, more than ever, it is important you can hear well on the phone. This can be a little tricky if you have hearing loss as the frequencies that come from a microphone speaker are just not the same as speech heard in person. So I have put together a little list which can give some tips to hear on the phone or video calls.
Firstly, try to schedule a group call for a set particular time so you can make sure you are wearing your hearing aids. If you have wireless hearing aids, your phone call can be streamed straight into your hearing aids so the speech clarity will be tuned for your hearing loss. This will be much clearer than just holding the phone to your ear. We can help you with this if you need us! If you don’t have a wireless hearing aid and it is a behind-the-ear device – remember to hold the phonemic near the back of the microphone which is at the top of your ear, not over your ear canal. Even better use the phone on loudspeaker so both ears can hear the sound and two always work better than one!
Secondly, reduce any background noise. Turn off the TV or radio and go into a room with good acoustics. This means not a room that has very high ceilings or hard furnishings as this can create reverberation and echo. Maybe the bedroom or lounge with soft sofa and cushions would be best. If possible close the door.
Thirdly, video calls are always best because then you can see the other person’s face. Believe it or not, we all have some skills in lipreading, even if we don’t think we do! Lips and body cues will help the conversation flow much easier. Everyone should try to have as much eye contact as possible.
Lastly, good lighting. Try to be somewhere that has good overhead light so people’s faces are very clear. If the person you are talking to is in dim light, just ask them to move somewhere lighter or turn on the room light.
Video calls are even the way we are doing audiology now. We can offer you a Telehealth appointment over the phone but even better we can do a video call and can do it through any App you are comfortable with! We can help you with Facetime, Whatsapp, Zoom, Houseparty, Messenger calls or anything else you have – we are always happy to learn new apps!
Simply give us a call on 8331 8047 to schedule your Telehealth appointment today!!