Lipreading: When is it Useful?

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Lipreading isn’t something you can replace your hearing technology with. But once one has mastered the skill, they can use it to enhance their ability to understand the speaker.  

It is useful in various situations where background noise is interfering with your ability to hear properly.  

Some of those places include:  

  • Restaurants 

Especially if the restaurant is a family restaurant or isn’t as high end. In these particular restaurants, you will find that the background pop music is on high volume to create a fun and electric atmosphere.  

On top of that, you have the seating arrangement to be quite close to each other. So, you will end up over hearing other people and their chatter. Since the music is loud already, everyone is competing to hear each other, increasing the background noise even more.  

  • Concerts  

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that concerts are loud places to be. So loud that you can feel the beat in your chest. In this location, you will strain your voice if you attempt to scream louder than the speaker system. So, it will be in your best interest to lipread instead if you can.  

However, if the concert is at night or in a dark room, make sure to either stand in a lit area, carry your own light, or exit the auditorium and find a quieter place to talk.  

  • Airports  

There are a lot of factors as to why Airports are noisy. For instance, to announce if a flight is delayed or it is time to board, the announcement is on the intercom. Even though it may be quite hard to hear for someone with hearing loss, you can sometimes hear the murmurs overhead.  

In addition, you have a lot of people taking and leaving flights all over the airport. Most of them are rolling their suitcases over the tile floors that reflect the continuous chatter from the waiting areas, cafeteria and stores.  

So if you want to make sure you have the right flight time, it will be useful to learn how to lipread.  

  • Classrooms  

We all know how chatty students can be before and after class. But knowing how to lipread can be useful especially when the teacher/professor is giving a lesson.  

To ensure that you can lipread, make sure to sit at the front, or where the teacher normally like to stand. If they like to move around the class, either ask them to stay in one spot, or keep your eyes focused on them or invest in a FM system or another hearing assistive device.