Hearing loss makes social situations harder because it affects your ability to communicate with others. Hearing can make it significantly easier for you to navigate everything from work parties to dinner out with friends at a busy restaurant like Toma Restaurant & Bar.
However, even though getting hearing aids is the first and best step to improving communication between yourself and others, it’s not the only one. Let’s take a look at a few additional steps you can take to feel more comfortable in social situations.
Be Open About Your Hearing Loss
While you likely have told some people about your hearing loss and using hearing aids, probably not everyone you interact with on a regular basis knows. Though it may make you feel uncomfortable initially, telling your friend or coworker that you have trouble hearing makes it less likely that they interpret any misunderstanding or you not hearing them as you being aloof or distant. It can also start a discussion on ways to communicate better.
Advise Family and Friends on Helpful Communication Strategies
Once you’ve let someone know that you wear hearing aids, you can fill them in on what communication strategies are most effective. This may include asking them to:
- Make sure they have your attention before speaking to you.
- Face you when they are talking and avoid covering their mouths. Not only will this make it possible to read lips, but your hearing aids will pick up their voice more effectively.
- Move to a quieter room or location if your current environment is too loud.
Look Into Aural Rehabilitation
For additional professional help, as your audiologist about aural rehabilitation (AR). AR includes a wide variety of strategies and practices that seek to optimize the ability of people with hearing loss to participate in activities that were once limited.
Aural rehabilitation can help reduce your perception of your hearing struggles, help you adjust to using hearing aids, and improve your overall quality of life.
A systematic review of these types of programs found that aural rehabilitation is very effective at providing a “short-term reduction in self-perception of hearing handicap and potentially better use of communication strategies and hearing aids.”
If you have additional questions about socializing with hearing aids or have other hearing-related needs, call the experts at Hearing Services of Santa Barbara today and schedule an appointment.