How Does Hearing Loss Affect Communication?
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If you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss or have been coping with it for a long time, then you’ll likely have noticed that communicating with others can be challenging at times. This is because your hearing loss affects the way you listen to conversations. It could be a matter of hearing another person quietly, but in other cases, it could mean difficulty differentiating between a conversation and background noise.
To understand why it’s important to address hearing issues, consider the following ways it can impact your communication if it remains untreated.
The importance of our ears in daily conversations
A lot of people don’t realize that basic conversations rely heavily on the use of our ears. This is because we need to listen to the person we’re speaking to and converse as such. However, people also don’t realize that they need to be actively trying to filter out background noises as well. For example, if there are multiple conversations going on, then you might find it challenging to speak to someone next to you due to your hearing loss. The overwhelming amount of noise can distract you and make it very difficult to converse if you’re not focused or used to it.
This is one of the many ways that our ears can affect our communication. Since hearing loss makes it difficult for us to distinguish between sound at different levels, you might find yourself asking someone to repeat themselves many times before you understand what it is they said. This can be especially challenging in a noisy environment with many different types of sounds distracting you. This leads to more difficulties when attempting to do anything in a crowd when you have hearing loss.
As you can see, our ears are very important to the way we communicate with others. It can affect our ability to converse with others and may take some getting used to if you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss from your audiologist.
Interacting with others when you have hearing loss
Another change that you might notice when you have hearing loss is in the way others interact with you. If people know that you have hearing loss, then they might take extra measures to ensure that you can hear them. For example, they might decide to speak louder and more directly to you, or they might speak a little slower and clearer just to ensure you can make out what they’re saying.
In that sense, hearing loss can affect communication by making others react differently when trying to converse with you. They might avoid using rapid sentences, they might make sure they’ve got your attention before trying to speak, and they might avoid trying to converse with you unless you’re in the same room.
Those that don’t realize that you have hearing loss might have difficulty communicating with you at first. It may seem like you’re ignoring them, or they might find it strange if you ask them to repeat what they’re saying several times. However, most people are easily more accepting of your hearing loss if you let them know, and most people will adjust the way they communicate with you to ensure that you can hear them properly.
Hearing loss can impact social participation
Many people that experience hearing loss will notice the impact it has on their communication with others. When this happens, it can lead to social withdrawal because they feel like it’s difficult to communicate with others. It’s important to speak with a professional audiologist if you feel like your hearing loss is causing social withdrawal and negatively impacting your participation in group events and parties.
In most cases, the best remedy would be to invest in hearing aids. This will allow you to hear clearly and avoid the risk of social withdrawal. There are many different types of hearing aids that can be purchased from your audiologist, and you’ll get all the support you need to use them correctly. A hearing examination with an audiologist will also help reveal the cause of your hearing loss. In some cases, you might find that it’s an infection or impacted earwax that is causing your hearing loss, meaning that it’s not permanent and can be dealt with.
If you’d like to learn more about how hearing loss can affect communication and what can be done, contact Brentwood Hearing Center at 615-377-0420, and we can help you address any hearing issues you may be experiencing.