How To Maintain Your Social Life and Relationships When Living With Hearing Loss
How to maintain a social life with hearing loss.
Tips to maintaining your social life while dealing with hearing loss
Hearing loss does not occur in a vacuum. Our social lives are based around communication- hearing loss can place a significant strain on this. A recent study found that out of 1,500 people with hearing loss, one in two said that relationships with their partner, friends or family had suffered because they can’t hear properly. Two thirds said their hearing loss seriously hindered their ability to take part in everyday with family and friends, causing 52% of those surveyed to feel left out and ignored in social situations.
Educate those in your life about hearing-loss
Friendships, romantic and family relationships are often impacted by hearing loss, particularly if they don’t understand their loved one’s struggle. Educating those near-and-dear to you about hearing loss can create a greater level of understanding and keep you from feeling isolated and alone in your struggles. Advise them to face you when they are speaking, and do so in a louder, clearer and slower manner. Ask them to accommodate for your hearing loss and not frequent loud and dark venues; don’t feel bad about speaking up for yourself! Educating the people in your life about hearing loss and being clear about your needs will ensure both a greater understanding by those around you and a better experience for yourself!
Tips for Spouses
Living with hearing loss can not only be straining on the individual suffering from it, but also on their relationship with their spouse. If you have a partner with hearing loss you may find yourself having to frequently repeat things and feeling ignored when they do not answer you.
Hearing loss can cause those suffering from it to become irritated and frustrated by their inability to hear, creating further issues in the relationship. 34% of those surveyed in a 2009 study reported that the communication barrier imposed by hearing loss had ended their relationships, including their marriages. However, educating yourself on what it’s like to have hearing loss can help you relate to what your loved one is feeling; hearing loss may be tough on a relationship but it is even more so on those suffering from it directly. New IOS apps such as “hearing loss simulator” can help you to understand how your spouse or loved one with hearing loss perceives your speech, therefore allowing you to put yourself in their shoes.
Further tips include:
Rephrase rather than repeat what you said. Sometimes it will be easier for your spouse to understand if you choose different words that are easier to hear.
Use simple sentences rather than complex ones as they can be hard to follow
Make sure to speak clearly and slowly and at a natural volume. Don’t shout as this could further distort their hearing!
Don’t get frustrated and say, “Never mind, it’s not important.” That could feel like you’re dismissing your partner, as if his or her hearing is not important to you.
But perhaps most importantly, vow to be more patient with your spouse and do your best to laugh off any miscommunications!
Get ready to reconnect with the world around you
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