How Treating Hearing Loss Helps Your Mental Health

How Treating Hearing Loss Helps Your Mental Health

Do you have hearing loss? You know that hearing loss makes it harder to hear all the sounds around you, making you miss a lot of the sounds in your environment. You don’t hear the chirping of birds, you can’t hear someone calling to you from another room, and you have a hard time knowing where a sound is coming from.

Hearing loss also makes it difficult to communicate. You’ve noticed that hearing loss makes you more stressed and anxious as you struggle to follow conversations. Hearing loss can even make you feel isolated, lonely, and depressed! If you’ve been dealing with poor mental health, treating hearing loss is one of the best things you can do to connect with loved ones and improve your quality of life. 

Hearing Loss and Mental Health

Did you know that your hearing loss and mental health are closely linked? A new study by Clear Living, a lifestyle website, looks at how hearing loss can impact your mental health and wellbeing. During 2019 and 2020, researchers gathered data from website users. They asked users to fill out a survey, and they got 3,700 responses. The questions were all about how hearing loss affects personal and social wellbeing and mental health.

After looking at all the data, researchers discovered that 89% of the study participants dealt with personal and social issues because of their hearing loss. These older adults responded that they felt lonely, disconnected, and sad. 58% of the survey responses mentioned close relationships, saying that hearing loss drove a wedge between them and their loved ones. Some even said their hearing loss led to a breakup. Many participants also talked about feeling isolated or dealing with depression.

How’s Your Mental Health?

If you have hearing loss, it’s time to think about your mental health. Hearing loss can lead to a number of communication issues. You may ask your loved ones to repeat themselves over and over again. You feel frustrated that you can’t hear, and your loved ones can get annoyed that they have to keep repeating themselves. You may find yourself more easily upset or irritated. Many people with hearing loss stop putting in the effort to communicate, since it easier to avoid conversations and avoid getting frustrated. 

Living with untreated hearing loss can also make you exhausted. You use so much energy straining to hear that by the evening you’re far too tired to try to have a meaningful conversation with your family. 

Hearing loss makes it very difficult to hear in places with background noise, so you may decide to avoid social events. You don’t see your friends as often, and this can lead to more feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Other negative outcomes of hearing loss can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping at night
  • Reduced mobility
  • Worse balance
  • Increased memory loss
  • Higher risk of dementia

Treating Hearing Loss Improves Mental Health

Now for some good news. When you treat your hearing loss, not only are you making it easier to hear, you’re also improving your mental health! We can fit you with quality hearing aids to help you hear in a variety of listening situations. 

You’ll be able to hear during conversations with your loved ones, and even hear in places with background noise. When you can hear clearly, you won’t feel so frustrated, and you’ll be able to communicate easily. Hearing aids give you the confidence to go to social events, and hear conversations even in crowded restaurants. With hearing aids you’ll maintain your relationships with family and friends, and have the social support you need to be healthy. 

You’ll also have more energy! Hearing aids reduce listening fatigue, and you’ll have energy in the evenings to talk to your loved ones or do the things you love. You’ll be more social, enjoy time with family and friends, and get back to your hobbies. 

Treating your hearing loss helps your mental health. Wearing quality hearing aids that match your hearing needs will help you hear when you need it the most. You’ll follow conversations, talk on the phone, enjoy outdoor activities, and hear the TV. Don’t waste any more time straining to hear or let your mental health suffer. Visit us today to find out how hearing aids can help your mental health.

Q&A About Hearing Loss

About Hearing Loss

You may have some questions about hearing loss and hearing aids. That’s completely normal! We get lots of questions every day about hearing health and hearing devices. Here are some of the most common questions and answers about hearing loss.

Question: Do I Need Hearing Aids if My Hearing Loss is Mild?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get asked is about treating mild hearing loss. If your hearing isn’t too bad, you might be wondering if you need to invest in hearing aids just yet. The answer is that treating your hearing loss early is the best thing you can do for your ears and your overall health.

When you have mild hearing loss, certain cells in the ear aren’t sending signals to the brain, and you don’t hear all the sounds around you. This might not be a problem when you’re in a very quiet place, but when you’re anywhere with background noise, it becomes very hard to follow conversations. You’ll start to notice the effects of untreated hearing loss, and start to be less social.

Living with mild untreated hearing loss can lead to more rapid cognitive decline, social isolation and loneliness, depression, and even an increased risk of dementia. If you have mild hearing loss, the best thing you can do for your hearing and your health is to treat your hearing loss.

Question: Do I Actually Need Two Hearing Aids?  

Most people have slightly different levels of hearing loss in each ear. You probably have a “good” ear and a “bad” ear. However, if you have hearing loss, in most cases even your good ear isn’t picking up on all the sounds around you. Having clear hearing in both ears is also very important for sound localization, or determining where a sound is coming from. With only one hearing aid, you won’t be able to quickly tell where sounds are coming from. Not only that, but having only one hearing aid can still leave you straining to hear, and you won’t get relief from listening fatigue.

Treating your hearing loss with two hearing aids is the best way to hear all the sounds around you, and enjoy clear hearing. 

Question: Will I Go Deaf?

You may be concerned that as your hearing worsens, you might go deaf. In most cases, people with hearing loss don’t go deaf. Your hearing loss will probably get a little worse every year, but for many people this hearing decline will eventually stop, and the level of hearing loss will stay mostly the same.

If you have hearing loss, it’s important to get a hearing test every year to monitor your hearing health. If your hearing ability has changed, your hearing aids can be recalibrated to match your level of hearing loss. However, you don’t need to worry about going deaf.  

Question: Will Hearing Aids Restore My Hearing?

There is no cure for hearing loss. Hearing aids are a very successful treatment option for hearing loss, but they can’t restore the hearing you have lost. Instead, hearing aids help you hear the sounds around you, including the sounds you can’t hear on your own. Hearing aids have a number of advanced programs and features that reduce background noise and help you focus on speech. Some hearing aids can even connect to your phone and stream audio right to your ears. Hearing aids are a great way to treat your hearing loss, and easily hear without straining to make out what’s being said. 

Question: Are There Natural Cures for Hearing Loss?

There are no natural cures for hearing loss. Hearing loss is usually caused by damage to the cells in the inner ear. These cells translate sound waves into electrical signals and send them to the brain. When these delicate cells are damaged, they don’t regenerate. This means there’s no way to cure hearing loss or restore your hearing. No natural remedies for hearing loss can repair these cells, or make your hearing come back.

Treating Hearing Loss

These are just some of the questions we get asked every day, and we have lots more answers to share. There are no silly questions, so if you have any questions about your hearing loss, ask our team of hearing health specialists and get the answers you need. 

Tips for a Successful Virtual Family Reunions

Tips for a Successful Virtual Family Reunion

Your 2020 holiday plans might look a little different this year, but you can still get together with your family virtually. There are lots of ways to connect with loved ones online, and you can plan a virtual family reunion to celebrate the holidays. These tips will help you have a fun virtual get together.

Make a Schedule

The best way to have a successful virtual event is to make a clear schedule. It’s frustrating waiting for everyone to show up to a meeting, so make a plan before your family reunion and let everyone know the schedule ahead of time. These are the things you should include in the schedule:

  • The reunion start time
  • The order of events
  • The reunion end time
  • Anything to prepare, such as food items, games, or holiday clothing

Sharing all this information with your family ahead of time will help make your virtual family reunion a big success.

Keep Your Holiday Traditions Alive

Does your family have some holiday traditions? You can find ways to share your traditions online. 

  • If your family plays games during the holidays you can try a game of Pictionary, or find an online game you can play together. 
  • If you love to share food over the holidays, ask each family member to bring a special dish to the reunion and show it off for the family.
  • If you love listening to holiday tunes, set aside some time in the schedule to listen to some music together.
  • If you love dressing up for the holidays, challenge your family to come in their holiday finest, or to find a great holiday sweater to wear to the reunion.

Test It Out Ahead of Time

If you’ve never held an online meeting before, test it out ahead of time. Make sure you know how to start the meeting, invite participants, and work out any technical glitches before reunion day. You can also invite several family members to test it out ahead of time. Some of your family members may not be very comfortable with online meetings, and you can help them learn to log in, turn on their camera, or unmute their mics. 

Having a test before the reunion will take the pressure off, and you’ll be confident hosting the meetings. It will also relieve the stress some of your family members may feel about having an online reunion.

Helping Everyone Hear

Is someone in your family hard of hearing? Virtual meetings can be challenging for people with hearing loss, but there are a few things you can do to make it easy for your loved ones to participate in the reunion.

  • Ask your family to speak one at a time. When several people talk at once, the audio will jump back and forth between the people talking, and it’s very hard to understand what’s being said.
  • Ask everyone to set up their screen in a brightly lit room. Making sure all the faces are well lit helps everyone communicate. It’s easy to see who’s speaking, and to see facial expressions or other non-verbal cues.
  • Ask the family to join the meeting on their computers rather than their phones. The larger screen will make it easy to see all the participants, and it will also keep the screen from moving during the call.
  • Turn on Closed Captioning. When your loved one with hearing loss can read what’s being said they’ll be able to keep up with the conversation.
  • Be willing to repeat or rephrase what’s been said if your loved one didn’t hear it the first time. 

Gift Ideas for Your Loved One with Hearing Loss

The best gift you can give your loved one with hearing loss is the gift of hearing. If your loved one doesn’t have hearing aids, encourage them to schedule a hearing test with us!

You support your loved one and  find out more about their hearing loss. Together you can learn about their hearing aid options and find the right devices to help them hear. Help your loved one pick out hearing aids before the holidays! They’ll have time to get used to their devices so they can enjoy hearing clearly during your virtual family reunion.

Contact us today to learn more about our assistive listening devices and hearing aid technology.