Hanging out with friends and family can be a lot of fun, but it’s good for you too. Spending time with others can greatly enhance your life and your health. Unfortunately for those with hearing loss, staying social isn’t so easy. Hearing loss is associated with social isolation.
When you can’t hear what other people are saying, it can make you feel very lonely, even if you’re surrounded by many other people. Because it can isolate you when you’re around others, many people unconsciously start isolating themselves physically because it’s just easier to spend time alone.
Don’t let loneliness take over your life because you fear spending time with others! With just a few tips and adjustments to your life, you can stay social no matter how well you can hear.
Use an Invisible Hearing Aid
Hearing aids can greatly impact your ability to communicate with other people, which is important if you want to stay social. That doesn’t mean you want everyone you meet for the first time to know you’re hard of hearing! Unfortunately, it’s pretty obvious if you are dealing with a bulky hearing aid.
Instead of using a hearing aid that makes it obvious that you’re hard of hearing, use an invisible hearing aid. There are many different invisible hearing aids that can address the struggles that are common among those who have a difficult time hearing, and they can do it almost invisibly. Some are so small they are virtually undetectable from any angle!
Face the Person You’re Talking To
Hearing aids are a great way to encourage you to get out and spend time with other people, but they won’t solve all of your problems. It can still be difficult to understand others. Whether you’re wearing a hearing aid or not, simply face the person you’re talking with to hear them better.
Although you can hear sounds all around you, it’s much easier to hear sounds that project directly into your ears. That’s because our ears work like funnels to bring sounds into the ear canal. Whenever you’re talking to someone, no matter where you are or what you’re doing, stand or rotate your body so you are facing the person you’re talking to and you will hear them more clearly.
Choose Gathering Spots With Less Background Noise
Not being able to hear in noisy places is a real medical condition, but those with hearing loss have known how difficult it can be to gather with others in a noisy restaurant for a long time.
You don’t necessarily have to avoid indoor restaurants and music venues, but there are much better places you can gather with others if you want to be able to hear better. A few ideas include:
- Asking to eat outside when you go to restaurants
- Going to outdoor music festivals
- Going for a walk on a nature trail instead of the sidewalk in the city
- Inviting people over to your house where you can control noise levels
Know How to Ask Someone to Repeat Themselves
There are much better ways for others to communicate with those who have hearing loss besides shouting. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this. If you say, “What?” when you don’t understand something, the other person is likely to repeat what they said, just louder.
Instead, find creative ways to ask people to repeat themselves. That might mean repeating what you thought you heard or simply asking someone to repeat themselves more slowly. When you’re specific about how you want them to repeat what they just said, you are more likely to hear what they’re saying with a lot less frustration.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Your Hearing Loss
Don’t let your hearing loss be the elephant in the room. Although it may not be something you’re proud of, it’s much better to talk to your family and friends about your hearing loss.
Tell others that you’re hard of hearing and get specific about what sounds and environments you struggle with the most. When you do, you’ll find that those around you are more than happy to accommodate you. Not to mention, the more open and honest you are, the more comfortable you will be staying social!
It can be hard to spend time with others when you can’t hear what they are saying. Don’t let that keep you from being social! With the tips on this list, you can better understand what others are saying, so you will look forward to going out instead of saying home.