Say, what?!

Help for when you don't quite follow the conversation

Your audiologist said you would need to practice listening… And you’re doing everything by the book… But, sometimes you don’t quite catch what someone is saying.

We hear your frustration, so here are some ideas that can help in those situations.

  1. Think ahead and plan. Could you arrive early to a conference to grab a seat that will put the speaker on your better listening side?
  2. Take a break. Listening with hearing loss can be tiring. Short breaks give your brain a rest and may help you concentrate better.
  3. Practice some ‘help needed’ phrases that you will be comfortable using. For example, “I wear a hearing implant but it’s still hard for me to hear with this background music. Could we step outside, where I will hear you better?”
  4. Be specific about what you need. Rather than asking someone to repeat, ask them to slow down or rephrase.
  5. Make a habit of repeating back important details (e.g. dates, times) so that you are both confident you have understood.  If you are struggling with a name or location, perhaps ask to check the spelling. (Some of our friends without hearing loss would do well to use this tip!)
  6. When you have a friend or relative with you, try to avoid relying on them to ‘translate.’ Instead, focus on the person you are listening to and ask your friend to step in only when you really need it.
  7. Be kind to yourself. Some environments make it hard even for people with good hearing. If there are challenging situations that you can’t avoid, perhaps a Cochlear™ True Wireless™ Device could help.

However tricky things get, remember to give yourself a pat on the back for how far on your journey you have already come. Compare this experience to how the conversation would have been before you received your implant.  

Oh, and last, but not least…

Keep calm. And carry on listening!

Whether you have had your implant for three months or three years, we know you are always learning. Do you have any suggestions that might help other Cochlear Family members on their hearing journey? Go to “share your story” section on homepage.

Help us improve Cochlear Family News.
How did you find this article?


Please seek advice from your health professional about treatments for hearing loss. Outcomes may vary, and your health professional will advise you about the factors which could affect your outcome. Always read the instructions for use. Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative for product information.

Views expressed are those of the individual. Consult your health professional to determine if you are a candidate for Cochlear technology.

For a full list of Cochlear’s trademarks, please visit our Terms of Use page.