Understanding the Psychological Impact of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is challenging to live with, but have you ever considered the emotional and psychological struggles it comes with?

The Emotional Strain of Hearing Loss

It can be very frustrating when you have to ask someone, especially someone you are close to, to repeat themselves. It can make you feel like you are missing out on emotionally important conversations and information. Often this will result in the feeling that you should withdraw from or avoid these situations altogether due to feeling embarrassed or that it is inconvenient for other people. It’s essential not to ignore these emotions and seek help from a hearing professional if you think you have a hearing loss and it is affecting you in the ways described above. 

Hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation and helplessness. Both of which can be major contributors to mental health problems such as:

Anxiety and Hearing Loss

Research suggests that people with hearing loss tend to experience more anxiety than those considered to have normal hearing levels. You might worry about how quickly your hearing loss will worsen or whether current treatments are effective at restoring at least some of your hearing. In social situations, you might worry about embarrassment, miscommunication or being judged by others due to difficulties communicating.

Depression Triggered by Hearing Loss

People with hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing depression. You might grieve the loss of the ability to communicate effectively with others – This is known as social bereavement, or you might experience feelings of isolation. You may also feel that hearing loss restricts your independence, affecting your sense of self-worth.

Cognitive Decline and Dementia

Hearing loss can speed up cognitive decline in older adults, increasing the risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This field of study is relatively new, but the research so far has produced some compelling evidence to support this.

Seeking Help for Hearing Loss

With all of this said, there is definitely help available. Hearing loss treatment, such as hearing aids and hearing rehabilitation go a long way to help manage and somewhat negate the emotional struggles and psychological effects of hearing loss. If you suspect that you have any kind of hearing loss, it is important to get your hearing checked and start a pathway of care to rehabilitate your hearing if you find out you do, in fact, have a hearing loss.

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January 25, 2024