Hearing loss can be a large barrier to everyday life. Expressing your feelings, needs, wants, or simply having a conversation with a loved one or grandchild when you have a hearing loss can be difficult or impossible. It is easy to take your hearing for granted until it is impaired and a hearing loss is acquired. Feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety, frustration, and loneliness are very common in those who have a hearing loss. While the effects of hearing loss can be devastating to a person’s overall social, cognitive, and emotional well being, it is important to remember the positive: there are treatment options to address hearing loss, including communication strategies and hearing aids. Taking the first step to accepting your hearing loss and then proceeding with treatment options can significantly improve your quality of life.
One question that arises is: Why is depression more common in those with an untreated hearing loss?
Feelings of depression are higher in those who have untreated hearing loss. When communicating with loved ones becomes challenging and your hearing loss creates an obstacle, people with hearing loss have a tendency to isolate themselves and choose to participate less socially and conversationally. Communication becomes frustrating for all parties involved. The person with a hearing loss can feel frustrated with himself or herself, knowing that they are frustrating those they are trying to communicate with. Overtime, these feelings of defeat and frustration can build up and it becomes easier for a person with hearing loss to detach themselves from social activities and conversation. This can sometimes lead to depression.
Accepting hearing loss can help you to take charge and improve your quality of life.
The first step to improving your quality of life is acceptance of your hearing loss. It is absolutely okay to admit you have a hearing loss! Admitting you have a hearing loss is the first step to improving your overall quality of life. Admitting your hearing loss to friends and family will help them communicate with you better. There are several communication strategies that can be used in order to make conversation easier. Family members and friends can be taught some of these strategies if they aware of the hearing loss and know that you have accepted it and would like help. Acceptance will also bring you one step closer to seeking help from your audiologist.
What are my options?
When you have a hearing loss, there are many options available when it comes to amplification. The first step is addressing your hearing loss, and while this is a big step, please be assured it is a positive one. Your local audiologist will be able to thoroughly assess your hearing and locate where in the hearing system the problem exists. Most hearing losses are permanent, and arise from issues in the inner ear. Based on your hearing test and your lifestyle needs, your audiologist will help you make a decision regarding the best course of action to treat your hearing loss. If your hearing loss is permanent, hearing aids are likely the best treatment option as no other medical intervention is available except in rare cases. An audiologist can help you with selecting a hearing aid, ensuring successful outcomes with hearing devices, as well as providing communication strategies. Hearing aids have come a long way and satisfaction with hearing aids is over 80% for devices purchased in the past 3 years according to recent studies (1). With guidance and care, your journey to better hearing will be a gratifying one!
Would you like to learn more? Call or email The Hearing Room today, they would be happy to help!