We often focus on how a hearing loss impacts our ability to hear what is said to us, or what is happening around us. Many are aware how common social isolation is in those who experience these difficulties. But what if your hearing loss is affecting your ability to speak with others?
Although affected speech is often seen in those who have had a hearing loss since childhood, it can also be an issue for adults with long term or severe hearing loss. This is especially noted when the hearing loss goes untreated.
As your hearing capability reduces, so do the frequencies at which you can hear sounds. When speaking and forming words, each verbal sound and letter is associated with a unique frequency range. When an individual with hearing loss loses the ability to hear the range, a couple of things happen. Initially, the letters, words and sounds that use or involve these frequencies become difficult to hear and harder to identify or understand.
If the hearing loss is left untreated, the brain begins to adjust to not being able to hear the sounds associated with these frequencies. This can impact how the brain interprets, and uses, speech. This relates to the close connection between the sounds that your ears hear, and how your brain subsequently interprets those same sounds.
So the letters and sounds you struggle to hear within words, you can begin to struggle to say.
Having both a hearing loss and a speech impairment can lead to withdrawal, depression, anxiety and problems concentrating. Luckily, there are a number of techniques that you can apply. The first step is to ensure you’re fitted for the appropriate hearing aids. Other things include:
It can be difficult to accept that a hearing loss is having an impact on your day to day life. If you’re concerned that your hearing may be impacting your speech, our hearing care experts can help. Early treatment and detection is the best way to reduce the impact of hearing loss on your life. Our team is friendly and patient-focused; call today on (507) 208-7002, or click here to request an appointment.