Hearing loss has a huge impact on your life, and it’s not just about hearing. When untreated hearing loss stops you from participating in conversations, connecting with loved ones, and pursuing the hobbies you love, you’ll face feelings of loneliness, depression, and even social isolation. Learn more about hearing loss, and how you can treat your hearing loss to stay socially connected and improve your overall health and quality of life.
Social isolation and loneliness affect millions of Americans, and seniors are often the most at risk. In fact, it’s estimated that 26% of seniors risk an early death linked to their feelings of isolation. Many seniors have experienced changes in their health or mobility that keeps them home more often, and some are dealing with the death of a spouse or close friend that can lead to feelings of social isolation. Isolation is the feeling of being physically and emotionally detached or distant from family and friends, and feeling disconnected from your community and source of social support.
Hearing loss is a big predictor of social isolation, and living with untreated hearing loss increases your risk of loneliness and depression. Think back to a time when you had clear hearing. You probably left the house a least once every day, frequently met friends for a coffee, or went to a family member’s house for dinner. As your hearing ability changed, you struggled to communicate with friends and loved ones, and often felt self-conscious or embarrassed that you couldn’t hear clearly. Did you start ignoring social invitations, and choose to stay home alone rather than deal with the stress of your hearing loss?
Hearing loss increases the risk of social isolation as those with hearing loss avoid social situations, and decide to stay home rather than risk annoying friends by asking them to repeat themselves, or feeling embarrassed when they can’t participate in conversations. As hearing loss worsens, seniors become even more socially isolated, and lose the connections that have kept them happy and healthy in past years.
If you have a hearing loss, it’s easy to blame others for your inability to hear. You might think that your conversation partners should speak louder, or stop mumbling. However, if you think that everyone around you is speaking too quietly, there’s a good chance the problem is with your ears, not with your friends. Take responsibility for your hearing loss, and don’t get upset at your friends.
Treating hearing loss with a quality pair of hearing aids won’t just make sounds louder, it will balance out sounds, amplifying the high frequency sounds you struggle to hear, and making speech clearer. Hearing devices will reduce the background noises that make it hard to focus on speech, will amplify soft sounds, and won’t over amplify sounds you’re able to hear. Hearing instruments will make it easy for you to follow conversations and hear speech, and you’ll be able to effortlessly connect with your friends.
If you’ve been struggling with feelings of social isolation, anxiety, or even depression, treating your hearing loss can help you stay socially connected, and give you back your joy. With hearing devices you’ll enjoy going out with friends, or spending the afternoon with your family at a sports event. You’ll follow conversations without having to ask people to repeat themselves, and you’ll catch every word that’s being said. Have you been staying at home rather than face the embarrassment of not hearing? Treating your hearing loss will give you the courage to say yes to every social event, and help you stay socially connected. You’ll be able to participate in conversations, express your thoughts, and avoid feeling confused or left out of the conversation.
With hearing aids you’ll improve your relationships with family and friends, and share all the little moments that make life so magical. You’ll be fully present in conversations, and even have enough energy to take up a new hobby or learn a new skill. Treating your hearing loss allows you to hear in any environment, lets you enjoy your social life, and helps you stay socially connected.