Treating Hearing Loss Helps You Stay Socially Connected 

Hearing loss that remains untreated often takes a toll on social life. Hearing is integral to how we navigate conversations and social settings. When hearing is impaired, it strains communication which has major effects including social withdrawal. Retreating from interacting with others impacts relationships, mental health, and overall wellness. Treating hearing loss alleviates symptoms and transforms hearing health. This enables people to not only participate in social settings but also thrive. 

Hearing Loss & Social Isolation 

Untreated hearing loss produces a range of symptoms that serve as barriers to effective communication: 

  • Tinnitus: a buzzing, ringing, or clicking like noise in the ears
  • Sounds are distorted, muffled, or slurred 
  • Difficulty distinguishing individual words 
  • Hearing is challenging in environments with background noise 

These symptoms often cause people to use strategies that are not the most effective or sustainable. This includes: 

  • frequently asking others to repeat themselves, speak louder, and/or slower
  • lip-reading to identify words 
  • pretending to hear, nodding along even though you aren’t catching what is being said 

Experiencing these symptoms makes it difficult to hear and engage in conversations. This strain can lead to miscommunicating, missing parts of a conversation, and unpleasant interactions. People can think you are not paying attention or are not interested in what they are saying. Additionally, using coping strategies is often exhausting and can leave people feeling fatigued. 

Conversations can be a stressful experience that contributes to anxiety and general discomfort. This can cause people dealing with untreated hearing loss to avoid social settings and interactions altogether. Avoiding conversations because they require too much work, are stressful, and are difficult is a common outcome of untreated hearing loss. This means avoiding spending time with family and friends, skipping out on gatherings, participating less in social activities and hobbies, etc. Social withdrawal impacts relationships as well mental health, contributing to conditions like depression. 

Link Between Hearing Loss & Depression

Social withdrawal is one of the most common effects of untreated hearing loss. This deteriorates social life, connections, and creates distance in relationships. Isolating oneself can cause or contribute to anxiety and loneliness which increases the risk of experiencing depression. Various studies have examined the relationship between untreated hearing loss and depression. This includes a major study published in 2015 that included analyzing data for over 18,000 participants, ages 18 and older. Data included information provided by hearing loss tests as well as a questionnaire that assessed depression. Researchers found that the prevalence of moderate to severe depression was:

  • 4.9% for individuals reporting excellent hearing
  • 11.4% for people who reported a little to greater hearing loss 

These findings show that people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to experience depression. This significant correlation reveals the impact of untreated hearing loss on mental health which strains social life.  

Stay Socially Connected by Treating Hearing Loss 

Treating hearing loss offers life-changing benefits that enrich social engagement and connections by: 

  1. Strengthening Communication. The most common treatment for hearing loss is hearing aids which are electronic devices that help process incoming sound. This provides significant support, allowing people to hear more clearly and with greater ease. It also alleviates hearing loss symptoms that often make conversations difficult to engage in. This enables people to hear, respond, and communicate without exerting themselves. Being able to do this more comfortably allows people to be more present and participate fully, strengthening communication. 
  2. Boosting Confidence. Being able to navigate daily life with the ample support that hearing aids provide means that people don’t have to rely on asking others to make adjustments, or pretend to hear, or struggle through interactions. This alleviates the stress and anxiety associated with having conversations which boosts confidence and a sense of independence. 
  3. Improving Relationships. Strengthened communication also improves relationships. People are better able to hear and readily respond, engaging more fully in conversations. This allows people to spend quality time with family and friends, nurturing intimacy and closeness which helps maintain these connections. 

These benefits allow people to fully participate in and enjoy dynamic interactions. People are better able to hear jokes and the small moments of a conversation that enrich relationships and social engagements. 

Prioritize your hearing health today by calling us to get started on transforming your health and daily life!