How Does Hearing Loss Impact Your Life?
Hearing loss isn’t just something that affects your ability to hear, but also your whole life, sometimes in unexpected ways. It is vital, therefore, that you seek the help of an audiologist if you have hearing loss who can help you manage the condition. Often wearing a hearing aid can help you to partially restore your natural sense of hearing, improving your quality of life.
The consequences of untreated hearing loss can be profound. Let’s take a look at some of the most common, yet least understood:
Hearing loss can affect your ability to work
Hearing loss can affect your ability to work for several reasons. The first has to do with health and safety. People with hearing loss are 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an accident than those with normal hearing ability. A lack of hearing means that workers are less able to detect sounds that could indicate danger, putting them at risk of harm.
The second has to do with the ability to communicate. It takes between five and seven years from the average person with hearing loss to come forward and seek the help of an audiologist. During this time, they can develop severe difficulties with hearing that impede their ability to communicate with others, harming their career prospects.
Finally, hearing loss can lead to difficulties in holding group conversations or meetings at work. It is often difficult for people who are hard of hearing to focus on specific voices in a noisy room, as there is frequently in the workplace.
Hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression
People with hearing loss are much more likely to experience depression than those with normal hearing ability. Researchers believe that this higher incidence of mental illness arises from social isolation. Those who are hard of hearing often find talking to colleagues, friends and family a strenuous activity and reduce their social interactions. This withdrawal then leads to less contact with other people, leading to feelings of isolation, anxiety and other mental health issues.
Hearing loss can affect how you spend your free time
A lot of the things that people like to do in their free time, such as go to the cinema, are easier when you have good hearing. People with hearing loss, however, no longer find these activities as compelling and so often change how they spend their free time.
Fortunately, many venues now cater to people who are hard of hearing with enhanced audio, subtitles and even sign language. If you have hearing loss and want to enjoy the same activities as you did before you began losing your hearing, then check accessibility ahead of time.
Hearing loss can make cafe and restaurant trips more difficult
Ordering food and drink in a cafe or restaurant can be a challenge for people with hearing loss. Not only does it require speaking with the wait staff, but these environments also tend to be loud, making it hard to focus on conversations. People with hearing loss, therefore, will often avoid going out to dine with friends.
Hearing loss can affect emotional stability
People with hearing loss can often feel frustrated and self-criticize more than they did in the past. It is easy to fall into the trap of blaming yourself. These negative emotions can lead to rapid changes in mood, which affect relationships and overall quality of life.
Hearing loss, therefore, is not only a physical issue but an emotional one too. Difficulties in communication are dangerous because they run the risk of cutting off the person who is hard of hearing from those around them, leading to some of the mental health issues we discussed above.
Regular trips to the audiologist
People with hearing loss need to make regular trips to the audiologist for several reasons. They must ensure that they are correctly managing their hearing loss. Visiting an audiologist is crucial for tracking whether your hearing loss is changing, and if you need different types of hearing aid. Some hearing aids are designed for those with mild to moderate hearing loss, while others are made for severe and profound hearing loss.
In summary, hearing loss can profoundly affect your life if it remains untreated. It is essential, therefore, to seek the appropriate treatment. With the correct care and management, you can improve your hearing, allowing you to engage more freely in conversations with others, even in noisy environments.
If you want to learn more about hearing loss, then Ashland Audiology is here you help. You can call our friendly team at 715-682-9311 for more information or to schedule an appointment.