Black and white picture of sad woman looking out the window because of hearing loss.

Is hearing loss more than a minor problem? Left undiagnosed, hearing loss has an extreme effect on life including damaging physical health, job performance and, yes, even social life. Some individual can take their hearing for granted, that’s until they start noticing little changes like conversations that seem unclear or TV sound that no longer works. It might take a minute for them to connect the dots between the things they no longer hear and their potentially failing ear health.

Of course, there are ways to get around hearing challenges at first like asking friends to repeat themselves all the time or turning up the volume but it does change things – beginning with your social life. Consider some ways that your social life might suffer if you don’t take the steps necessary to improve your hearing.

Left Out of the Conversation Again

Communication is important, but it becomes difficult once hearing loss sets in. It will start small with certain sounds dropping out when you are listening to someone talk. For instances, people with mild hearing loss tend to complain about not hearing words with “S” or “F” clearly. Certain voices might sound faint or mumbled, as well – usually high or low pitches.

In time, the noises around you start to interfere with your conversations. It will be difficult to hear beyond the air conditioner or fan running in the room. Something as small as the wind blowing around on the patio leads to frustration as you sit and talk to friends.

You may begin to feel left out as the people around you talk but you struggle to hear and understand everything they say. That feeling of isolation in a room full of conversation has an impact.

You Experience Real Isolation

The inability to clearly hear what a loved one, friend or family member says leads to mistakes and maybe even conflicts. The people in your life can start to treat you differently, trying to avoid conversations because you don’t understand them. They can’t talk to you, so it makes them uncomfortable to be around you. The phone stops ringing because you never answer anyway. When you do hear it ring, it’s a struggle to interpret what is being said.

Your friends don’t want to hang out with you these days, either. You don’t understand half the conversation, so what’s the point. When your hearing loss first began, you felt isolated, but, not it’s so much worse. You spend more time alone or socializing on social media pages instead of seeing your friends in person.

Intimacy Diminishes

They say the best relationships require successful communication, but that suffers when you start to lose your hearing, too. What once was a partnership built around your ability to talk to one another is now a series of miscommunications. Maybe, you didn’t stop and pick up milk because you have no idea she asked you to do it or you miss a date because you got the time wrong.

That special friend gets frustrated because every conversation consists of you saying “What?”. As difficult as it is to experience hearing loss, it’s just as hard to see a change in someone you love without understanding why it’s happening. You lose that connection you once had with a close friend or partner because you refuse to accept that you need to see a hearing professional for help.

It’s depressing to think of how many ways losing your can hearing cost you, but for most people, there is hope. It’s estimated that 14 percent of people between the ages of 45 and 65 suffer mild to moderate hearing loss. For these individuals, getting a professional hearing test and investing in hearing aids is all it takes to return them to the social life they once enjoyed.

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