Lipreading can help people with hearing difficulties to connect with the world again. Although lipreading is far from perfectly accurate, it can help people take part in a conversation and develop their communication skills.
Hearing difficulties can make people feel isolated and disconnected from their environment. Lipreading is when someone watches a person’s mouth movements when they speak to detect certain words and sounds. They can also learn to read body language, hand movements and other context clues to identify what a person is saying. If you are struggling with your hearing at the moment, make sure to book an appointment with audiologist to find out more.
Here are a few benefits of lipreading.
Helpful for video calls
During the pandemic, video calls replaced face-to-face interactions within personal and professional settings. If you suffer from hearing loss, you can use video chats to make it easier for you to understand what someone is saying. Some video calling apps offer automatic captioning so you can read what the speaker is saying, as well as watching their mouth.
Compliment hearing aids
Hearing aids can drastically improve your quality of hearing and make it much easier for you to understand speech. If you can’t see someone on a phone call or in a dimly lit room, it can be challenging to know what they are communicating. Hearing aids can help you engage in a conversation while also lipreading or noting the person’s body language.
Filter out background noise
Those with hearing difficulties often become hyper-aware of how noisy a place is. Background noise in restaurants, classrooms or offices can make it much harder to listen and catch everything a person says.
Lipreading can cut through the background noise and help you understand things that your ears might have missed. Using your eyes and ears is one of the most effective ways to improve your hearing.
Feel more connected to people
Some family members or friends could learn to lipread to understand better what it’s like to be hard of hearing. They can adjust their communication skills and pronounce certain sounds more when they speak or talk slower to make it easier to lipread their speech. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is the best way to understand their situation and how you can help them.
You could ask your loved ones to practise lipreading with you. You may find that certain sounds are harder to identify, and you need a little practice.
If you are hard of hearing, try out hearing aids and lipreading together to improve your communication skills.