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Hearing loss: The social impact

Senior man hard of hearing

If you experience hearing loss, then you may be aware of the profound impact it can have on a person’s life. While some people may assume it’s simply about not being able to hear properly, hearing loss can have a significant social effect. Struggling to effectively communicate with friends, family and co-workers can lead to social isolation, anxiety and can even trigger depression. Read our blog post that examines the possible causes of hearing loss, from medical conditions to exposure to loud noises.

Communication difficulties can appear in several ways and create barriers to socialising with groups or even on a one-to-one basis. It may prevent you wanting to go public areas such as the theater, restaurants or even family gatherings. At work, you may find that you often try to avoid making phone calls or attending meetings, making it increasingly difficult for you to be productive and progress in your career.
Hearing loss can often progress slowly. You may have found that gradually over time, you’ve been increasingly withdrawing from social situations that you find too challenging. This could be enjoying a meal with friends or family or spending time after work with co-workers. Leaving your hearing loss untreated can lead to certain social problems, such as:

Many people take their hearing for granted and this can make it difficult if you have hearing loss and your friends and relatives don’t. They may not understand the extent of the repercussions that a loss of hearing can have on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Communicating with a partner or spouse who has any degree of hearing loss can be extremely difficult and often adds problems within a couple’s relationship. Not only that, but miscommunication can cause conflict – saying ‘I love you’ isn’t very sweet if you have to shout it.

While life may seem daunting and overwhelming when you have reduced hearing, it is possible to address your hearing loss and learn how to overcome the difficulties it poses. The first step in helping reduce the social impact of your hearing loss is by having a hearing test with a qualified hearing care professional. This will determine the type and severity of your hearing loss. Your audiologist may recommend hearing aids or assistive listening devices as an effective solution. If you are experiencing some difficulty with your hearing, give Hearing Sense a call on 8331 8047 and get yourself booked in for a complimentary hearing test.

Once you have had your hearing evaluated and possibly, appropriate hearing aids fitted, then you should find that most of the emotional effects of your hearing loss are soon resolved. While you’ve been putting off social engagements, you can get reacquainted with friends and family you’ve not been connected with. You can begin to interact with your co-workers again and even go back to your hobbies that you may have felt forced to drop before.

The sooner you can act on hearing loss and begin to take action, you will be in a better position to minimise these significant social and emotional effects and look forward to an even better quality of life.

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