How Hearing Loss Affects Communication


Hearing impairment can happen in a variety of ways. While many people may assume hearing impairment indicates a total loss of hearing, this is not true. The two main types of hearing loss are “conductive” and “sensorineural” hearing loss. One is caused by an outer or middle ear obstruction, while the other is caused by damage to hair cells in the inner ear. Both types of hearing impairment can create difficulty with communication.

Common Issues With Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment can have a significant impact on the quality of one’s life. There may be fewer job opportunities available or social isolation. Emotional problems stemming from hearing impairment can cause depression or anxiety.

Navigating life circumstances, including personal relationships, are often altered. This change is experienced by the person experiencing hearing impairment and those around them as well. Communicating with someone who has difficulty hearing can be a major adjustment.

Changes in Communication

Certain settings may be more difficult than others for those who are experiencing hearing impairment. Crowded areas such as restaurants or large gatherings can be frequently disorienting. Depending on the type of hearing impairment, deciphering background noise from what is directly being said can be hard to separate. Noise differentiation issues are frequently found in the natural aging process.

Communication can be challenging in multiple ways. Getting someone’s attention, using the correct volume, and the conversation’s pace is all likely to change. Asking questions is encouraged for both the person experiencing hearing impairment and for those around him or her. If there is a misunderstanding in verbal communication, rephrasing can also be a helpful tactic.

Communication in The Workplace

Those who are suffering from hearing impairment issues may feel they are misunderstood or confused about expectations. This can also be true for those who are working with the hearing impaired. Clearly understanding the situation upfront is advised.

By explaining any hearing impairment issues, the workplace can be both friendlier and more manageable. Since a work environment can be a major part of anyone’s life, socializing is important, as well as discussing work-related issues. Learning about hearing impairment and how to navigate a specific work environment best is recommended for any job situation.

Socializing With Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment can create anxiety for some individuals. Since socialization is crucial to human development and social health, avoiding these activities can lead to a lack of close relationships.

To better socialize while living with a hearing impairment, there are a few common tips that can help:

  • Face the person you are talking to
  • Bring a pad and pen
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions
  • Rephrasing can help with difficult words
  • Encourage others to speak slower

What To Do About Hearing Impairment

Hearing impairment does not have to damage your communication skills. Different treatments are available for specific hearing impairment issues. Calling a specialist is the first step to understanding all the options available. For more information about treatment options, please call to make an appointment today.