How Hearing Loss Affects Communication
Do you struggle to hear when someone’s speaking to you? Can you hear the phone ringing, and your spouse calling to you from another room? If you have hearing loss, you know that it’s affecting communication. Even simple conversations lead to misunderstandings, and you have to ask for clarification at least once. Maybe this doesn’t seem like a big deal to you right now, but living with untreated hearing loss will create problems in both your professional and personal life as communication continues to deteriorate.
Better Speech and Hearing Month
This May, just like every May for more than 75 years, the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA) raises awareness about communication disorders by recognizing Better Speech and Hearing Month. They educate the public on the many communication impairments that affect hearing, speech, language, and voice, as well as providing information about the audiologists, speech pathologists, and other professionals who can help. This year, the theme is Communication: The Key to Connection, and we want to help you get back to communicating. For more information from the ASHA, visit http://www.asha.org/.
How Communication Breaks Down
Hearing loss affects over 37 million Americans, so there’s a good chance you or someone you know has hearing loss. How does hearing loss affect communication? Losing your hearing isn’t just about missing a few sounds here and there, or not being able to hear the birds chirping in the park. As your hearing worsens you’ll begin missing words, then whole sentences. You may have difficulty keeping up with conversations, particularly in noisy environments, and you won’t be able to communicate effectively with family or friends. With hearing loss, you’ll feel more exhausted by the end of the day just from straining to hear.
When you’re not able to hear clearly, communication breaks down. Pleasant conversations are replaced with yelling matches that end with both sides completely frustrated, as you ask for sentences to be repeated, interrupt for clarification, or easily get confused. Trying to guess at words, or fill in the blanks to make sense of the conversation, you’ll often miss the punchline, or find yourself missing the joke yet again. With hearing loss, it’s common to mishear questions or comments, and you’ll find yourself replying inappropriately in conversations. This can be embarrassing or uncomfortable, and you may start to feel like an outsider even among your own family and friends.
When Hearing Loss Creates Isolation
A study by the American Academy of Audiology found that adults with untreated hearing loss were more likely to feel anxiety and depression, and were less likely to attend social gatherings or participate in group activities. This is because social events can be extremely difficult for those with hearing loss. With all that background noise and multiple conversations, it becomes increasingly hard to understand what’s going on around you. While seeing friends can be a struggle, meeting new people causes anxiety since you’re worried about what kind of impression you’ll make if you mishear them too many times.
Feeling like an outsider and struggling in conversations, it’s no wonder that those with hearing loss choose to stay home rather than face social settings. This is a truly isolating experience, creating a huge barrier and making it hard to connect.
Are You Ready for Easy Communication?
The Average American waits 5 to 7 years to treat their hearing loss, jeopardizing their hearing health and experiencing isolation and depression. Wearing hearing aids gives you back your hearing, allowing you to participate in every conversation. Hearing aids reduce anxiety, prevent depression, and keep people socially active. By restoring communication, wearing hearing devices improve relationships at home and at work, create self-confidence, and reestablish independence.
Connecting with the people around you is perhaps one of the most important part of life. Don’t settle for less than clear communication. At Lifestyle Hearing Solutions, we’re committed to helping you find the hearing solution that will match your lifestyle. With decades of experience and a high level of expertise, we’ll be with you every step of the way, from the initial hearing test to choosing the perfect hearing device and making sure the fit is comfortable and secure. This May, choose communication and get reconnected with the help of a hearing device.