How Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Quality of Life?
Many people don’t necessarily realize that they’re experiencing hearing loss. It often takes an audiologist performing a hearing evaluation to know that you have any level of hearing loss or to know the extent of that loss.
It is often other people who let you know you may be losing some of your hearing.
Whether you know it or not, untreated hearing loss can seriously diminish your quality of life.
When you confront your hearing loss head-on, you can then learn how to correct the problem. For example, some people might have hearing loss because of a treatable condition like a benign tumor or earwax buildup. There is also hearing loss that can stem from damage to the nerves between the ear and the brain, or a problem with the inner ear. Those situations can’t be cured, but they can be treated with hearing devices.
Sometimes it can take understanding how hearing loss is affecting your quality of life to see an audiologist and make a change.
The following are some of the big ways even relatively mild hearing loss can impact your quality of life.
One of the most damaging ways hearing loss can affect your quality of life is by impacting your relationships. This can include relationships with your spouse or partner, your family, and your friends.
When you have hearing loss, it can cut down on your level of communication and lead to resentment. Hearing loss can create feelings of loneliness, and you might experience more disagreements due to the hearing loss.
If you can’t joke around or have casual conversations with your partner or people in your life, that can diminish your relationship.
Even though some of the effects of hearing loss on a relationship may seem minor, they can add up over time and become a big issue.
If you have untreated hearing loss, it can be irritating to the people around you, even if they don’t realize it’s happening.
When you experience hearing loss, it can impact your career if you’re still in your working years. You may not be able to communicate with your manager or co-workers well, and you may start to experience declines in engagement and productivity.
You could be passed over for advancement opportunities, and you may even be a safety risk in the workplace, depending on your role and degree of hearing loss.
People with hearing untreated hearing problems are significantly more likely to experience Alzheimer’s or dementia than someone who doesn’t have hearing loss. Our brains are accustomed to hearing the many sounds around us in our daily life. When we can no longer hear them, it affects brain health.
Sometimes hearing loss is even misdiagnosed as dementia.
Not being able to hear your loved ones and what’s going on around you can have a tremendous effect on your mental health. You may feel isolated, withdrawn, and depressed.
Along with a higher risk of depression, you may also feel more anxiety.
As you get older, it’s important to stay socially connected to keep your mental health thriving, but if you can’t hear others you it’s tough to do that.
If you have problems with your hearing, it’s difficult for you to stay independent. You may begin to rely on others more than you’d like to.
If you correct your hearing problem, then you’re more likely to be able to continue living independently for longer.
You’ll have increased self-esteem and feel more accomplished the more you can do on your own.
If you can’t hear well, you’re putting yourself and possibly others at risk. When you can’t hear, you don’t have a good idea of what’s happening around you. You’re not taking in all that important sensory input that would help you make safe decisions.
If you’re behind the wheel and you can’t hear well, you might not hear another car’s horn, and you could be in an accident or hurt another person.
When you have hearing loss, and you treat it, it can improve your quality of life in almost every area. You can once again have normal conversations and communication with everyone from your partner to people you meet and about during the day.
You can reduce your frustration, improve your safety, and also increase your independence when you work with a doctor to treat your hearing loss properly.
Treating hearing loss will help you stay independent and also ensure your cognitive and mental health remains strong.