It isn’t easy to communicate when you can’t hear what other people are saying. Hearing loss causes you to miss the small, personal moments that build the bedrock of relationships.
Hearing loss affects your ability to communicate with family members, friends, spouses and significant others. You may feel embarrassed about asking friends to repeat themselves or frustrated when you have to remind your spouse to speak up.
Daily communication becomes a daunting task and can break down personal connections. This is especially true for partners, spouses and significant others who interact with your hearing loss daily. Lack of communication can cause tension and leads to miscommunication and isolation for both parties.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to depression, dementia and cognitive decline, further affecting your ability to communicate with loved ones.
Hearing Loss and Socializing
Hearing loss can cause social withdraw. Background noise and multiple conversations make it hard to localize sound and socialize. Withdrawing from friends and family can cause isolation and affect friendships.
Those with hearing loss may rely on a loved one who is aware of your hearing loss to help them navigate conversations. Having someone who understands your condition helps ease the stress of staying engaged, but it also puts pressure on your hearing partner.
Improving Communication with Hearing Loss
Discussing your hearing loss will help you understand the far-reaching impacts of your condition.
Find a quiet space: You can better express yourself when you don’t have to contend with background noise. It will also help you be a better listener and reduce the likelihood of distractions and frustration.
Speak your mind: Be honest about your needs. Do you need people to talk louder or slower? Ask your loved ones what they need as well. Good communication is a two-way street and requires input from all parties.
Use communication best practices: Get someone’s attention before speaking to them and face them during the conversation.
Talk about visiting an audiologist: Getting a hearing test and starting treatment will put you on the path to better communication. An audiologist can recommend hearing aids that meet your unique needs. Taking a loved one to your appointment also allows them to learn more about your hearing loss and ask questions.