When thinking about hearing loss, mental health and wellness may not immediately come to mind; however, the two go hand in hand. Hearing loss is not only a physical impairment, but one that affects us emotionally and impacts our quality of life.
Those suffering from hearing loss often find themselves misunderstanding conversations, having strained relationships with family and friends, as well as withdrawing during social interactions. It can be psychologically distressing when your world is muffled and confusing. Many individuals with hearing loss are thought to be dismissive, forgetful, uncooperative, or disagreeable, when they are just unable to hear or understand exactly what is happening or being said to them.
As their hearing loss progresses, the individual may find themselves further withdrawing from typical day-to-day activities and beginning to isolate themselves. The main thing to remember about hearing loss is that the ears are only a vessel for sound; the brain is what decodes the sound and gives meaning to what is being heard. As audiologists, we not only look to give you back sound, but also to help give back meaning to sounds and, as a result, your life.
Specific types of hearing loss can be prevented and treated; however, when left untreated your impairment will naturally become worse. The most common and universally accepted treatment for hearing loss is the use of hearing aids. Hearing aids give your brain the ability to listen with ease and provide you access to the nuances in sound in your listening environments. For many of my patients, hearing aids give them back confidence in social settings and the ability to enjoy the company of those around them.
Helen Keller summed up the impact hearing has on lifestyle the best: “Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” Hearing aids are a bridge to finding your way back to people.
If you are feeling left out, finding yourself questioning what you’ve heard, or are noticing a cognitive decline in yourself or a loved one, it is time to get your hearing tested and close that gap between you and your world. Book a complimentary consultation today and take that step forward for your mental health.