Staying Social as an Individual With Hearing Loss

Woman wearing hearing aid having conversation with friend

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Hearing loss can have a severe effect on an individual’s mental health, leading to conditions like anxiety and depression. A huge contributor towards the development of such conditions is the social isolation that often comes with living with hearing loss. Indeed, a life on the deafness spectrum can be very lonely: socialising and making new friends when you are unable to hear is hard, especially since a lot of people simply do not know how to effectively communicate with individuals who are hard of hearing.

Young woman sitting next to window seeming lonely

It is no surprise that sometimes, people on the deafness spectrum may become frustrated and give up on social communication altogether. Although maintaining friendships as a hearing-impaired individual may require a great effort both physically and emotionally, doing so is essential for living a full, happy life. We have listed some of our favourite tips for remaining socially active despite hearing loss below:

Stay Connected With Your Loved Ones

You don’t need to throw yourself into an unfamiliar environment immediately- staying connected with the ones closest to you can be enough. You may find that simple actions like having a cup of coffee with an old friend or a family member in a safe, familiar space, make a huge difference. Remaining in active communication with those closest to you will also help you in the long run: studies have shown that supportive relationships can be a major protective factor against mental illnesses and help increase our wellbeing.

Be Open About Your Hearing Loss When Making New Friends

Being straightforward and open about your hearing loss can massively benefit your social relationships: this includes making people you meet aware of the specific type of hearing loss you suffer from, the best ways in which they can communicate with you, and the spaces within which you feel most comfortable. When both parties are on the same page, conversations become much easier.

Young people having a conversation at a party

Join a Deaf Support Group

Joining a deaf support group will help you meet individuals who are going through similar hardship as you and will give you the opportunity to share your feelings and exchange coping strategies. Ultimately, this will help you understand your experience better and gain a sense of empowerment and control over your situation, reducing feelings of distress, anxiety, and depression.

There are various organisations that can provide help and support to individuals suffering from hearing loss, as well as their families. You can find a list of UK support groups for the hearing-impaired here.

Group of people smiling, having a conversation

Maintain Existing Relationships

Meeting people you like is not always easy, but once you have succeeded in doing so, it is important that you make an effort to stay in touch with them. Accepting friends’ invitations and initiating activities yourself are both great ways of doing so, but sometimes even a quick text message can make a difference.

Other great tips for maintaining and building trust within your relationships include active listening and being open about your feelings and experiences.

Woman holding phone sending a text message

Invest in Hearing Assistive Technology

In case you have already received a diagnosis for your hearing loss and have been prescribed hearing aids adequate for your needs, looking into hearing assistive technology can be a great next step. Nowadays, various solutions exist that can help those suffering from hearing loss hear clearly and communicate with more ease, including FM hearing systems, Bluetooth hearing aid streamers, and infrared wireless devices.

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) amplify the sounds that you would like to hear (for example, your conversation partner’s voice) over background noise and are helpful in a variety of environments that might otherwise be challenging for those suffering from hearing loss. They can either be used with hearing aids or cochlear implants to help you hear better.

Collage of hearing assistive devices

If you are currently looking for a way to improve your social interactions, why not check out our shop? We have a brilliant range of affordable, but high-quality devices that can help you communicate with more ease. Click here to browse our products today!

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