Hearing Loss

Can Hearing Loss Affect Speech?

Posted by Admin |

Untreated hearing loss can affect our lives in a number of ways. It can increase our risks of cognitive decline, affect our mental well being, and even pose a safety risk.

Hearing loss can also complicate our ability to communicate. Aside from not being able to hear conversations, in some cases hearing loss can affect speech.

Hearing loss affecting speech is most often seen in people who have had a hearing loss since childhood. For adults, it’s more often an issue in cases of severe or long-term hearing loss, particularly if that hearing loss is untreated.

Why Can Speech Be Affected?

When we’re speaking and forming words, each verbal sound and letter has its own unique frequency range. With a worsening hearing loss, particularly if left untreated, the frequencies that we are able to hear sounds at also reduces.

If you’re experiencing a hearing loss that is causing this, you’ll notice a few things happening. Initially, letters, words and sounds that use or involve these frequencies become harder to hear. At the same time, they may become more difficult to identify or understand.

With untreated hearing loss, our brains will adjust to our inability to hear the sounds associated with these particular frequencies. This subsequently impacts how the brain interprets and uses speech.

To put it simply: you may find yourself struggling to say the letters or sounds that you have difficulty hearing in words.

What Treatment Options Are There?

When a speech impairment accompanies a hearing loss, it’s not unusual to experience depression, anxiety, or find it difficult to concentrate. You may also be tempted to withdraw from activities or other social situations. However, there are treatment options available.

First, ensure that you have been fitted for the correct hearing aid. At Clear Wave hearing Center, our hearing care professionals will work with you to ensure that you’re fitted with the right device for your lifestyle.

When speaking, you can:

  1. Try to minimize background noise. Try to eliminate unnecessary distractions (like the T.V. on in the background!).
  2. See if there are local support groups available.
  3. Speak clearly, and deliberately. Use visual cues or gestures when necessary.
  4. Find the method of communication that works for you. Perhaps this is writing things down, learning sign language, or other gestures.
  5. Take advantage of assistive technology.

We understand that accepting that your hearing loss is affecting your day to day life isn’t easy. Our team is more than happy to help and discuss treatment options that are right for you. If you suspect that your hearing loss is affecting your speech, please book in an appointment today. Give us a call us on (864) 546-5708 or click here to request an appointment now.

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