You probably don’t need to be told that hearing is important. However, when you notice you’re not picking up sounds the way you used to, you may be reluctant to seek help. You may be embarrassed to let others know about your problem or you may think you can’t afford a solution. You might even think hearing loss is not that serious. Even if you find ways to adapt to your condition, you should know that hearing loss can affect several areas of your life.
It Can Make you Feel Lonely
Human beings are social animals. Not being able to communicate effectively can leave you feeling isolated. This is true both for those who work and older people who are retired. Many people begin to isolate themselves when they start losing their hearing. They withdraw from social activities either because it seems too difficult to adapt or they are embarrassed about asking people to repeat themselves. Unfortunately, social isolation can lead to loneliness, depression, and even a reduced life expectancy.
It can Affect your Performance at Work
Untreated hearing loss can impact your job performance and even lead to lower earnings. A Better Hearing Institute study found hearing loss could reduce household income by up to $12,000 each year. Many jobs require you to be able to hear colleagues and customers, whether in person or on the phone. Sometimes, like in meetings, more than one person may be speaking at a time and it can be difficult to make sense of it all. this may mean you miss instructions or key bits of information.
It can Impair Memory
Hearing plays a significant role in memory retention. When you can’t hear well, memory suffers. There are three reasons for this. Firstly, when you have to focus really hard to figure out what people are saying, your brain doesn’t have the capacity to retain other details. Secondly, isolation reduces mental capacity and memory. Thirdly, when you are isolated, your brain doesn’t have to work very hard anymore. The unused portions of your brain, such as those used for memory, shrink or get used for other purposes.
It can Lead to Mental Health Challenges
Hearing loss has been linked to dementia in older adults. In fact, people with hearing problems are twice as likely to develop dementia. Those with severe hearing problems are five times as like to get the condition. Staying away from other people and not communicating frequently can contribute to dementia. It can also lead to depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
It can Increase Stress
Because of the challenges mentioned above, increased stress is natural. When you can’t hear properly, you may worry about how you will communicate with loved ones, if you will hear the phone ringing or whether you’ll be able to cope at work. Struggling to hear in social situations or trying to keep your condition a secret can also be stressful.
Hearing loss is, therefore, not just an auditory problem. It can affect you mentally, physically, professionally, and socially. Instead of withdrawing from society or struggling in key areas of your life, seek help so you can get an assistive device. A hearing aid provider like Miracle-Ear is for people with hearing loss. A hearing professional can help you determine which solution is right for you.