Hearing & Balance Doctors

How to Hear Well at Home

How to Hear Well at Home

The recent coronavirus pandemic has affected all of our lives. In Utah, Governor Herbert has issued a directive to “stay safe/stay home” as much as possible.

In following this directive, many of us have spent much more time at home. In this article, we would like to offer some tips for hearing better while at home.

Control the environment

One of the biggest obstacles to effective communication is background noise. At home, we can often control this factor. Try not to have a conversation over the television or while doing the dishes. Another obstacle to communication is reverberation. Soft surfaces, such as rugs or drapes, can absorb sound and reduce echo.

Get your loved one’s attention

Getting someone’s attention before speaking to them greatly improves communication. Examples of getting someone’s attention may include calling their name and waiting for a response, tapping them on the shoulder before speaking, or a gentle tug of the shirt sleeve.

Communicate face to face

Once you’ve gained attention, it is recommended you continue to face the person you are talking to. When we are facing our communication partner, we gain several advantages.

First, our voice has a straight path to their ears – there is not a lot of degradation of the auditory signal. This allows for a good clean sound that is more easily understood.

Second, we are able to observe body language, facial expressions, and other non-verbal cues. Finally, looking at someone helps us to maintain our focus and attention. We are less likely to be accused of “selective hearing” when we are looking someone in the eye.

Hearing and Balance Doctors Can Help You Hear Better

Our clinic, Hearing & Balance Doctors, is currently open for essential needs. We have also opened a curbside service for hearing aid cleaning/troubleshooting.

Our doctors are even available by phone for questions. If you have questions or would like to be hearing better at home, please call us today at (435) 688-8991.

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Dr. Ryan Whitaker

Dr. Whitaker joined Hearing & Balance Doctors of Utah in 2009. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brigham Young University in 2005 with his Bachelors of Science in Audiology and Speech Pathology. He then received his Doctor of Audiology from the University of Arizona where he minored in Cognitive Neuroscience (the study of how people perceive sound). While at the University of Arizona, he specialized in evoked potentials, specifically researching Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials and the Acoustic Change Complex. He gained clinical experience at Tucson Ear, Nose, and Throat; St. Joseph’s Hospital Balance Center; Arizona Hearing Specialists; and the Center for Hearing Impaired Children. Dr. Whitaker was raised in Orem, Utah with three older sisters and a younger brother (who is also an audiologist). His grandfather was a cartoonist for the Walt Disney Studios where he drew Donald Duck and many characters in Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland before starting the BYU Motion Picture Studio. Dr. Whitaker is married and has three sons. He is passionate about college football and also enjoys hiking in Southern Utah, reading, and traveling. He has traveled extensively through South Asia including Thailand, India, Nepal, and a church mission to the Philippines.

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