February 26, 2024

How Treating Hearing Loss Helps Your Mental Health

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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.

Dr. Teague earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Hearing, Speech and Language from Ohio University and his Doctoral Degree in Audiology from The University of Louisville. He is an active member of the American Academy of Audiology and the Ohio Board of Audiology.

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