Hearing loss that isn’t treated can make it hard to get along with others. Hearing is a vital part of communicating and getting along with others. When hearing isn’t good, communication suffers, leading to a withdrawal from society. When you stop talking to other people, it affects your relationships, mental health, and overall health.
When hearing loss is treated, symptoms disappear, and hearing health improves. This lets people not only take part in social situations but also do well in them.
Hearing loss and social isolation
Hearing loss that isn’t treated can cause several problems that make it hard to communicate:
- Tinnitus is a noise in the ears that sounds like buzzing, ringing, or clicking.
- Sounds are slurred, distorted, or muffled.
- It’s hard to tell what each word is.
- It is hard to hear when there is a lot of background noise.
People often try to deal with these symptoms in ways that aren’t the best or most long-lasting. Among these are:
- Asking people to repeat themselves, speak louder, or speak more slowly.
- Lip-reading to figure out what people are saying.
- Nodding along even though you don’t understand.
When you have these symptoms, it’s hard to hear and participate in conversations. People might think you aren’t listening or aren’t interested in what they have to say. This stress can make it hard to talk to each other, miss parts of a conversation, and have other bad experiences. Also, coping strategies can be tiring and leave people feeling worn out.
Conversations can be stressful and make people feel anxious and uneasy in general. This can cause people with hearing loss who don’t get treatment to avoid all social situations and interactions. People with untreated hearing loss often avoid conversations because they are too complicated, stressful, or require too much work. This means not spending time with family and friends, not going to get-togethers, doing fewer social things and hobbies, and so on. Withdrawing from society hurts relationships and mental health, which can lead to things like depression.
The link between hearing loss and depression
One of the most common effects of untreated hearing loss is withdrawing from others. This makes it harder to make new friends and keeps people from getting close.
Isolating yourself can cause or add to anxiety and loneliness, making it more likely that you’ll get depressed. Several studies have looked at the link between depression and untreated hearing loss. This includes a significant study that came out in 2015 and looked at data from more than 18,000 people who were 18 or older. Tests for hearing loss and a questionnaire that measured depression were used to gather data. The number of people with moderate to severe depression was found to be:
- 4.9% of people who say they have good hearing
- 11.4% of those who said they had come to a lot of hearing loss
According to these results, people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to be depressed. This strong link shows how untreated hearing loss affects mental health, hurting social life.
Treating hearing loss will help you keep in touch with people.
Treating hearing loss can change a person’s life and improve their social connections by:
Getting better at talking. Hearing aids are the most common way to treat hearing loss. These are electronic devices that help process sounds. This gives people a lot of help and makes it easier and clearer for them to hear. It also helps with hearing loss symptoms, making it hard to follow conversations. This lets people hear, respond, and talk without working too hard. People can be more present and participate more fully when doing this more comfortably. This improves communication.
Improving confidence. Hearing aids help people in their daily lives, so they don’t have to rely on others to make adjustments, pretend to hear, or struggle through interactions. This makes having conversations less stressful and scary, which boosts confidence and a sense of being on your own.
Making relationships better. Relationships also get better when communication gets better. People can hear better and respond more quickly, so they can participate in conversations more fully. This lets people spend quality time with family and friends, which helps them get closer and strengthens their relationships.
Because of these benefits, people can take part in and enjoy dynamic interactions to the fullest. People can hear jokes and small parts of a conversation better, which makes relationships and social interactions better.