The physical symptoms are what usually come to mind when we think about hearing loss. You have a ringing in your ears, sounds often seem muffled, or it has become difficult to hear and understand others when there is background noise. But we often forget to consider the emotional symptoms, and these can be just as real and disabling as the physical ones. Studies show that untreated hearing loss can have a significant effect on a person’s mental and emotional well-being, often resulting in anxiety, stress, anger and depression. If hearing loss remains unaddressed these feelings may get worse over time but hearing aids can go a long way towards reducing these negative feelings. Here are just a few of the ways treating hearing loss can have a positive impact on one’s overall happiness and quality of life.
- Untreated hearing loss hurts quality of life. Studies show that when people ignore their hearing loss, they often see their quality of life diminish in various ways. Hearing loss reduces feelings of personal safety and independence, making it harder to leave the house. It also leads to withdrawal from one’s social circles, which means less engagement with others. Cognitive decline and poorer overall physical health have also been linked to untreated hearing loss in recent studies. The bottom line is that unaddressed hearing loss can have countless negative effects on a person’s life–but hearing aids can help.
- Treating hearing loss promotes good mental health. Hearing loss can be isolating, and this isolation often results in other symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and anger. The good news is that using hearing aids has been shown to boost mental health by creating greater emotional stability, increased social engagement, and independence. The overall result is greater enjoyment of life, and who wouldn’t want that?Tinnitus, a ringing in the ears which is a common side effect of hearing loss, can also lower a person’s quality of life by creating feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. But managing tinnitus symptoms with hearing aids–which often come with tinnitus management programs–has been shown to reduce these negative feelings and bring about greater contentment and happiness.
- Hearing aids can boost your self-confidence. According to recent research, when hard of hearing people use hearing aids, many feel less critical of themselves, and more in control of their lives. One BHI study revealed that most people with mild and severe hearing loss felt better about themselves and life in general because of their hearing aids.
- Better communication means stronger relationships. As we all know, it’s difficult to maintain healthy relationships without good, honest communication. Participants in one BHI study stated there were improvements in their ability to communicate in most situations as a result of using hearing aids. Over half reported that wearing hearing aids had brought improvements to their relationships at home, their social lives, and their enjoyment in group activities. Many participants also saw improvements in their romantic lives. Involving your family members or spouse in treatment, and discussing communication strategies with them, may also help to improve overall satisfaction and quality of life.
- Hearing aids are now better than ever. Significant new technological breakthroughs have changed the way hearing aids are created, and they have improved dramatically in recent years. Many hearing aids are now almost invisible, with users wearing them discreetly inside the ear canal. Along with being discreet and comfortable, many hearing aids are now Bluetooth-capable, meaning they can effortlessly connect to your smartphone, home entertainment system, or other electronics at exactly the right volume for you. In short, the hearing aids of today have been expertly engineered to suit people of all ages.
Hearing loss and depression–an important issue
Depression is a very common and serious mental health issue, affecting over 15 million adults in the United States alone. In several studies, untreated hearing loss has been linked to this condition, and older people who have hearing loss are 2.5 times more likely to develop depression than those without it. Even so, many people wait for years before treating their hearing loss.
One of the most vital ways to treat hearing-loss related depression is to be fitted with hearing aids. If you are concerned that a loved one may have poor mental health as a result of their hearing loss, take the first step towards greater health and happiness by making an appointment with us at Custom Hearing Solutions for a hearing exam today.