Hearing Loss And Social Isolation

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Social isolation is not a good thing, and it can be a significant health risk. People with hearing loss frequently experience problems in group settings. The experience for the hearing-impaired individual takes a physical and mental toll as the person strains to decipher conversation among multiple conversations and background noises. Eventually, many feel it is not worth the effort and withdraw from all social activity. The good news is that there are ways to maintain a healthy social life with a hearing loss.

Loss Of Self-Confidence

A hit to one’s self-confidence is often the beginning of the social isolation struggle. Difficulty hearing communication at home, work, and in public damages self-esteem. People with hearing loss often fail to respond in communication due to fear of embarrassment. A healthy relationship depends on good communication.

Relationship Damage

A relationship of any type is dependent upon meaningful conversation. The ability to hear, process, and understand what others are saying is critical to maintaining relations with family, friends, and co-workers. Any problems in communication are frustrating and can lead to resentment, loneliness, and ultimately social isolation.

Physical Exhaustion

Multiple conversations and excessive background noise within a crowded social situation are frequently a nightmare for the hearing impaired. Physical exhaustion results from work involved to hear conversations. Unfortunately, this often leads to the exhausted hearing-impaired individual withdrawing from all social gatherings.

Steps You Can Take

If a hearing problem is causing social isolation problems, it is vital to acknowledge the issue. Hearing impairment can affect one’s personality, and the psychological effects are as frustrating as the physical effects of hearing loss. Here are three tips to help increase your comfort in social settings:

  • Hearing aids. Modern hearing aids can deliver sound quality that can make your interaction in groups much more relaxed. If you are not using a hearing aid, now may be a great time to visit hearing healthcare professionals for a hearing evaluation.
  • Advance notice. An excellent technique for easing into social situations is taking the time to speak to a group in advance about your hearing loss. Advance notice will educate them and make them more sensitive to your needs in group settings.
  • Keep it quiet. To make communication less stressful for you and a loved one, try choosing quiet areas for conversation while speaking directly and clearly. Also, try to minimize all background noise.

Psychological effects of hearing loss do not receive the attention that the physical effects of hearing loss often do. However, they are equally as frustrating. Remember that it is essential to acknowledge the feelings of discomfort you may experience in social gatherings. If you are not already using a hearing aid, now may be the time to consider one. Make it a point to speak to people in advance of social events to raise your comfort level and try to keep rooms quiet whenever possible. Check out these links from the Hearing Loss Association of America for assistance in helping you to recover your social life. Don’t let a hearing loss keep you away from social gatherings.

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