Treating Hearing Loss Helps You Stay Socially Connected

June 5, 2020
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No one wants to face up to a hearing loss, but it is crucial to consider the implications of leaving hearing problems unaddressed. Hearing loss isn’t just about having to turn up the volume on your TV. Hearing loss symptoms change the way you work and socialize and can have a significant impact on your health and quality of life.

Hearing loss can affect your social life through a series of phases. Let’s take a look at each one in turn:

1. You find it difficult to understand other people

When hearing is limited (especially in environments with background noise), having conversations with others can get complicated. Sounds may seem muffled, so it can be tough to hear certain words. 

Persons with hearing loss will begin to rely on others to talk loudly, repeat themselves, move to quieter areas to converse, need others to speak slowly, read mouths, etc.

 Because conversations may be challenging to follow entirely, there could be more severe miscommunications and knowledge gaps. This affects the quality of communication, and more effort and time is needed to maintain a connection. This can turn the conversation into an awkward experience.

2. Your relationships start to suffer

Untreated hearing loss doesn’t just mean avoiding loud situations; it can also harm our closest friend and family relationships. We communicate with others to feel understood and empathize with others. Maintaining such lines of communication can be a significant challenge when hearing loss becomes a problem.

Many people avoid treating hearing loss with the argument that others are not affected by their hearing impairment. This could not be further from the truth. Hearing problems lead people to lose contact with others or pretend to understand speech when they can not hear properly.

Both situations can lead to missed connections and hurt feelings. Unaddressed hearing loss can lead to work or school problems, as well as problems at home. When communication is not simple, partners and close friends sometimes feel neglected or irritated. Loss of hearing puts an unnecessary strain on our most valued personal relationships. 

3. You can become isolated from society.

Hearing failure is one of the main predictors of social isolation. It may not even be apparent to the person with hearing loss. Still, the effort involved in maintaining conversation becomes less and less worth it, and the individual may be less inclined to accept social invitations.

This gets worse and worse, and the person gradually falls out of social life, opening them up to the risk of emotional problems such as stress, anxiety, and even depression. 

The problem is with your ears, not your peers

If you have a hearing loss, then it’s easy to blame others for your hearing impairment. You might think others should speak louder or stop mumbling. When you think everyone around you is talking too quietly, there’s a good chance that the problem is with your ears, not your peers. That is why owning up to your hearing loss is crucial, and seeking treatment if appropriate.

Seek treatment

If you’re told by the people closest to you that you may have a hearing loss or believe it yourself, it’s essential to seek help before the signs of hearing loss progress any further.

Treating your hearing loss with a pair of modern hearing aids will help keep you connected socially. In recent years, hearing aids of today have improved significantly, and some are so tiny that they are invisible when placed in the ear canal. 

Hearing devices can help you follow conversations, particularly in areas where there is a lot of background noise, and help you pick out the critical speech sounds you are straining to hear. They can also feature noise reduction, and let you decide on the sounds you want to concentrate on. Advanced hearing technology also helps you to connect to your smartphone. If a friend calls, you’ll stream the audio right to your device without needing to place a phone to your ear. 

If you think hearing aids could be a good fit for you, the first step is to arrange a hearing exam. Why postpone a hearing loss diagnosis and risk missing out on so much of what we love in life? Hearing aids will enhance your coordination and could help you regain your social life again.