Your hearing plays a major role in everything you do: your job, your personal life, and even your physical health and safety. Many people assume that some hearing loss isn’t a problem, or that they can simply “get by” asking people to repeat themselves or being unable to hear in daily situations.
Unfortunately, many of these same people experience a number of issues as a direct result of their hearing loss, and suffer for months, years, or even decades before getting the treatment they deserve.
Social consequences of hearing loss
Our interactions with other people play a big role in our quality of life and well-being. Studies have shown the effects of hearing loss can lead to negative social consequences, including:
- Avoidance or withdrawal from social situations. Hearing loss makes it difficult to hear people talking. The person affected may feel embarrassed because they can’t follow the conversation or have to keep asking others to repeat themselves or talk louder. Rather than deal with the frustration of not hearing well in these social settings, the person may start to avoid situations that lead to frustration and embarrassment.
- Social rejection and loneliness. It’s a sad fact that people who don’t understand the effects of hearing loss may avoid or reject people who struggle with this common problem. They may become annoyed with requests to talk slowly or loudly, or just give up on trying to talk with the person altogether. This results in the affected person becoming socially isolated and lonely when they truly need support and compassion from those around them.
Psychological consequences of hearing loss
Hearing loss can cause the following mental and psychological difficulties:
- Stress. Chronic high-stress levels have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Being unable to hear increases stress levels for many people.
- Depression. Depression is a serious, yet common, mental illness that can lead to a loss of interest in life, lack of happiness or joy, feeling hopeless, lack of energy, poor quality sleep, and changes in appetite and weight.
- Diminished psychological and overall health. The mind and body have a powerful connection. When a person’s psychological health suffers, their overall enjoyment of life can diminish, and daily tasks may become challenging or seemingly impossible.
Physical consequences of hearing loss
Without our hearing, we may miss important warnings and alerts that enable us to protect ourselves and our families. The effects of hearing loss often leads to:
- Reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety. Not being able to hear smoke alarms, severe weather alerts, or a vehicle approaching can lead to serious safety issues for the person affected and those around them.
- Reduced job performance and earning power. If an employer doesn’t understand why you can’t follow a conversation or you appear to struggle with listening or following instructions, this can negatively impact your career and financial earnings.
- Negative long-term effects on brain function and memory. Studies have shown a direct link between hearing loss and a decline in cognitive abilities. Trouble remembering important details and the inability to concentrate can further lead to isolation and a general deterioration of well-being.
Are you wondering if your life is suffering because of hearing loss? Associated Audiologists has doctoral-level audiologists who can help. Request an appointment today to talk about how we can treat your hearing loss and help you start feeling like yourself again.