How Hearing Loss Can Impact You on a Psychological Level

Hearing loss can impact you on a psychological level along with your missing auditory connection. How does hearing loss impact you mentally? We’ll discuss that answer here.

Out of all the conditions that happen to us as we age, hearing loss is one of the most common. It doesn’t discriminate, so it can happen to anyone at any age.

The early signs of natural hearing loss are often easily ignored. But, if you catch them early enough and work with professionals like Earlens Hearing Center, you can avoid the emotional damage that comes with this physical challenge.

Yes, hearing loss brings psychological struggles along with your missing auditory connection. How does hearing loss impact you mentally? We’ll discuss that answer here.

Isolating Yourself From Society

Any loss of something that was important to you comes with grief. When that loss is a sense that you have had all your life, you don’t always realize how much you relied on it for your day-to-day living until it starts to disappear.

In addition to dealing with that grief, you’re also struggling with social disassociation. When you start needing to ask people to repeat what they said, or you miss crucial parts of a conversation because you didn’t hear vital words and phrases, it begins to be frustrating and sad.

Instead of facing those emotions, you withdraw socially to avoid admitting you can’t hear as well as you once did. You don’t want to embarrass yourself or the other person, so you choose to self-isolate.

This decision, made to protect yourself and others, puts you on an immediate slippery slope to mental disorders.

Mental Health Disorders and Hearing Loss

Although hearing loss can happen at any age, it becomes an additional dangerous factor in the elderly. Between the ages of 65 and 74, about one out of every three people will suffer from hearing loss. This challenge, on top of entering your “golden years” and retiring from society through work, is psychologically damaging in significant ways.

At this stage in life, it’s common for people to begin facing their mortality and feeling unvalued. When hearing loss enters the scene, it can bring anxiety and depression along with it.

People with hearing loss at any age often feel more anxiety than their “normal” hearing counterparts. They worry about whether they’ll lose all their hearing and what life will be like if that happens. They worry they’ll embarrass themselves or miss a vital piece of communication. They’re concerned others will judge them if they find out they can’t hear.

This anxiety leads to self-isolation, as mentioned earlier. A natural progression of hearing loss anxiety is the choice to avoid communicating with others, which puts the individual in a vicious cycle where they miss interacting socially but have chosen not to because of their auditory challenges. They then grieve their once healthy social life, which leads to depression.

Isolation, particularly in the elderly, is linked with cognitive decline. The risk of memory disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s spikes when an older person has hearing loss and is isolated.

Early Help is the Best Treatment

To avoid the psychological damage that often comes with hearing loss, seek help as soon as you notice the signs of auditory distress.

Hearing aids of various sizes and designs are available. It’s not a stigma to wear one, and the consequences of ignoring your hearing loss signs could be significantly damaging.

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