- New Studies on Hearing Loss and Dementia - June 7, 2022
- How Music Can Help Shape the Future of Hearing Health - May 29, 2022
- Challenges with Hearing Speech in Noise – an Early Sign of Dementia? - May 17, 2022
Imagine trying to build a relationship with someone if you had no ability to communicate. Although humans are remarkably adept at finding ways to get our ideas across without the use of spoken language, it remains by far our most skilled means of communicating. The last time you encountered someone who spoke another language, you might have faced some of the many challenges in coming to shared understandings about even the smallest things. Indeed communication is the building block of any relationship, and it is equally important to maintaining the relationships that we already have.
Consider, then, the experience of a person with hearing loss. Where once they relied on their ears to capture the ideas of those around them, now they might struggle to put sounds together into meaningful units. Of course, there are ways to devise communication without hearing ability, but one of the most effective ways to improve communication for someone with hearing loss is put hearing aids to use.
Communicating with Untreated Hearing Loss
When a person experiences hearing loss, it is as if they are trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle without all the pieces. Each phrase uttered by another person becomes a jumble of syllables, and the constant need to make meaning out of randomness can be incredibly frustrating for a person with hearing loss. In far too many cases, the closest loved ones receive the brunt of that frustration. Each attempt at communication can result in a fresh wave of anxiety, fear, or anger at the newfound inability to hear like they used to do. Those negative emotions can be unnecessarily channeled at the family members, friends, and loved ones who try to communicate, and the result can be incredible relational strain.
Not only do people with hearing loss tend to experience relational strain from the frustrating process of communication, they can also have mental health effects that lead to further problems in relationships. Hearing loss can cause some people to become anxious about social events where they will be expected to hear clearly and be able to communicate quickly. In some cases, these people avoid events altogether rather than being willing to engage in strained or difficult conversations over and over again. This social isolation can cause a host of other problems, including depression. As we know, depression puts an incredible strain on our relationships, only adding to the existing effects of frustration and lapses of communication that occurred from the onset of hearing loss.
Treating Hearing Loss
The good news is that hearing treatment exists for many people who experience hearing loss. Hearing aids are remarkably effective at restoring hearing ability in a wide array of contexts. Whereas older models were clunky, required constant maintenance and battery changes, and simply raised the volume of the entire sonic environment including noisy and unpleasant sounds, new hearing aids have transcended all of these problems. Many come equipped with wireless technology and rechargeable batteries. They can be invisible within the ear in many cases, and they have become remarkably adept at identifying the voice of a single speaker in a noisy room and only raising the volume on that key range of sound.
Benefits of Treating Hearing Loss
With such promising new technologies newly available, why not seek out assistance for yourself or your loved one. The benefits for the individual are immense, but there are equally significant results for social lives and relationships. With the ability to hear restored, a person with hearing loss can return to connecting with loved ones, listening to what is most important to them and also disclosing their own experiences. These building blocks of communication are made easy once again through hearing assistance.
Hearing Care Centers
The first step to treating hearing loss is to seek out a hearing specialist for a hearing exam and consultation. Once you know the results of a hearing test, we will be able to recommend the right range of hearing aids for your needs.
The test itself is simple, quick, and painless. Why not make an appointment today, not only as a step toward better hearing, but also as a move in the direction of improved relationships and regained feelings of connection with the people you love most?