Close to 40 million American adults aged 20 – 69 report some difficulty hearing. That’s about 15% of the adult population in the U.S.
There are a number of causes of hearing loss. Regardless of what has caused the hearing impairment, a loss of hearing can present unique challenges.
One challenge presented is communication. We’re taking a closer look at how hearing loss affects communication.
How Hearing Loss Affects Communication
Communication can be challenging with a hearing loss. For many people, these unique challenges can lead to social isolation. Communication and contact with other people is an important part of our overall well-being.
Understanding how hearing loss affects communication can help you prepare in advance. Let’s all help to keep the conversation flowing!
Communication is More Than Words
We communicate with much more than words. In fact, certain estimates show that only 7% of how we communicate is based on the words we’re using. An incredible 55% of how we communicate involves non-verbal cues. These could be:
- Body language
- Eye contact
- Facial gestures
- Hand gestures
Combining the non-verbal communication with words helps us understand context. Put simply: Facing the person you’re communicating with can improve understanding.
Hearing Loss & Communication – The Challenges
Hearing loss can have a negative impact on communication in a few ways. As mentioned above, people with hearing loss may end up withdrawing from social situations. This is commonly seen in people with untreated hearing loss.
If the below sounds familiar to you, hearing loss could be impacting your communication:
Changes to your sound sensitivity can indicate hearing loss. If you notice that you’re having to turn things up frequently, it could be time to speak to a hearing professional.
Missing Higher Frequency Sounds
When we speak, the words we’re using are made up of different sounds. These sounds fall within different frequencies. For example, the consonants s, t, f, p ,k and the sounds ‘th’ and ‘sh’ are at a higher frequency. With untreated hearing loss, these are often the first sounds that are missed.
The result of this is that you feel like you’re having to fill in the blanks. This can cause you to ask people to repeat themselves often. You may also find it easier to understand a deeper voice than a higher-pitched voice.
Communicating with Background Noise is a Struggle
With hearing loss, noisy environments can make communication exceptionally challenging. This is often because it becomes too difficult to distinguish background noise from what someone is saying.
If you find that you often avoid noisy settings, we recommend speaking to a hearing healthcare professional. Trying to filter out background noise can end up being very exhausting!
Have a Question? Need Help? Contact Us Today!
Often, these initial signs of hearing loss can go ignored for years. If any of these situations sounds familiar, don’t struggle any longer. Hearing aid devices can help restore your quality of life. If you’d like to book in a hearing assessment, please get in touch with the hearing specialists at Hearing Aid Specialists of CT. Call 888-657-5768 today, or click here to book an appointment online.