Effective Ways to Communicate with Someone with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a common health condition for women that is linked to loneliness and depression.

Hearing Loss in Women

Hearing loss doesn’t just affect your ears. Research shows a correlation between hearing loss, overall quality of life, and several chronic health conditions. It’s also a common condition; according to the Hearing Health Foundation, as many as one-third of women in their 50s in the United States have some degree of hearing loss.  

The COVID-19 pandemic created an additional stressor for women with hearing loss. Masks and social distancing make communication more difficult, and loneliness from long bouts at home can have an impact on overall well-being.  

Side Effects of Hearing Loss

Woman listening closely

A study performed by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) found that women with hearing loss are twice as likely to develop depression as those without it. Hearing loss can cause women to disengage from social interactions and activities that require communication. The loneliness that results from this isolation can lead to depression.

Effective Ways to Communicate

If you know a woman who is hearing impaired, there are ways you can make communication with her more effective.

  1. Get the person’s attention by saying her name. Project your voice and speak clearly.
  2. Do not talk loudly from another room. Hearing-impaired people may need to see your face to know what is being said.
  3. Look at the person in good light and on the same level.
  4. Keep your hands away from your face and avoid eating or chewing while talking.
  5. Have conversations in less noisy environments.

Hearing Loss Solutions

If you are a woman experiencing hearing loss, a hearing test could help give you tools to re-engage in life. Hearing aids can provide relief and make you feel more confident when socially engaging. Your hearing professional can help determine what type of hearing loss you have and how to improve your quality of life with specialized treatment.

An Expert Weighs In

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many who suffer from hearing loss have been at a disadvantage due to wearing a mask. The level of frustration when communicating with others has increased. Individuals will tend to avoid social outings and family gatherings due to the difficulty of communicating. This avoidance to gather with friends and family only makes the situation worse. The individual who is hearing impaired may become isolated and lonely, and this could lead to depression. Family and friends can help those who suffer from hearing loss by speaking clearly and enunciating words while communicating.”

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