The modern world we live in today is a world of constant communication. Now more than ever it is so easy to contact most of your friends, family and coworkers at the touch of a button. The presence of smartphones and Internet virtually everywhere is rapidly changing how we communicate through text, memes, group chats and more. Information is everywhere and a simple search can give us the answers to almost anything we can even think to ask. Even with this constant buzz of information, communication is still the foundation of a healthy relationship, out and about, at work or at home. When there is a breakdown of communication relationships become strained and this is certainly the case for those of us who are living with hearing loss and have not treated it.
Struggling with Speech Recognition
As hearing loss progresses the ability to hear and comprehend speech will begin to suffer. It is common to misconstrue what is being communicated in conversations that include many speakers but this can become even more exaggerated when living with hearing loss. Understanding what is being said becomes frustrating as hearing loss weakens our ability to interpret between multiple voices speaking simultaneously. This comes into play at parties, gatherings, busy restaurants and sporting events. It is common for people struggling with hearing loss to ask others to repeat themselves, but often after this becomes normalized in a person’s life, they grow tired or embarrassed and refrain from asking people to repeat themselves at all. This can lead to a person isolating and socially withdrawing. Because speech and communication are key to our relationships work and fun, it is imperative to restore your understanding of speech in cases of people living with untreated hearing loss.
The Benefits of Improved Communication
Any relationship will suffer when you cannot clearly communicate whether you are at work or at home with the closest people in your life. Fortunately, treatment with hearing aids can improve relationships in so many ways after an extended to living with strained communication due to hearing loss.
- Improved Intimacy – Hearing loss can create a divide when people cannot understand each other.
- Improved Independence –Hearing aids can give you the independence to go out on your own again with out having to rely on others to interpret what is being said.
- Reduced Arguments – When miscommunication becomes a regular staple of the day conflict is not far off.
Not only is do hearing aids help your relationships but untreated hearing loss also greatly affects a person’s social life, with increased stress, anxiety, and depression. Untreated hearing loss has also been linked to risk of dementia, falls, and hospitalizations. By treating hearing loss with hearing aids, people are able to re- engage socially as they once did before hearing loss was present.
What to Do if You Are Living with Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can develop slowly over time, making it not so easy to identify right away. It can creep up on you and before you know it you are having trouble hearing even in the best of listening situations. However, if you know the common signs of hearing loss then you have the tools necessary to admit you have a problem and get your hearing tested.
Hearing Aids and Your Relationships
Once you start using hearing aids the way you interact with the world often changes drastically. You can be more connected to the people you love, feel more engaged in social situations, navigate a crowded room of conversation and even stay more connected at work. Sadly, people living with hearing loss often wait an average of seven years before they decide to take the leap and take a hearing test. Don’t be part of this statistic. If you are noticing that you are asking people to repeat themselves more than before if is most likely not that people are not speaking clearly but an issue with your hearing. Fortunately hearing tests are quick and painless and once you know the out come, you can have the information to seek the help you need to keep your self involved with the relationships in your life that make life worth living.