Lip-Reading Basics for People with Hearing Loss

lip-reading basics

The fear associated with hearing loss centers on the loss of communication. Hearing difficulties can lead to feelings of isolation. With many advancements in both treatment and education though, this doesn’t have to be. Lip reading, in particular, can help. Let’s talk about the lip-reading basics.

Lip-Reading Basics for the Deaf

Pay close attention to the movement of the tongue and mouth. Without a full focus on that, you will not be able to decipher what is being said.

Body language and gesture play a big part in communication. By noticing these, you can gather the emotions around what is being said. This can give you the context of what is being said.

The shape of a consonant is quite easy to see but can be hard to hear. The opposite occurs with a vowel. It is hard to see, but easy to hear. Pay attention to the consonants. You can then decipher the vowel through a process of elimination.

Tips for Living with Someone Who Reads Lips

It’s important to remember a few lip-reading basics if you come into contact with someone who relies on it.

For someone to read your lips, they must be able to see them. By maintaining eye contact, you allow that. It’s also important to remember not to cover your lips inadvertently, be it with your hands or objects.

The same concept applies to being in a dark space. If the area you’re in is too dark, your lips won’t be visible, and it’d be impossible to read your lips.

Rephrase the words if someone is struggling with reading what you’re saying. Do this rather than just repeating them. If they didn’t catch it the first time, they probably won’t get it the fourth or fifth time.


Incorporating these lip-reading basics can make life easier for someone who is hard of hearing and those who are close to them. When communication can flow, everyone can get involved, and the feeling of isolation is nowhere to be found.

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