A World Health Organization (WHO) report indicates that more than 30% of people over age 65 have correctable hearing loss, but do nothing about it. Further statistics show that after most people experience the first signs of hearing loss, they wait for 5 to 7 years before they seek help. This disturbs me because failure to treat hearing loss not only compounds communication challenges but includes emotional effects that could rob you of some of life’s most rewarding moments.
How Does Hearing Loss Affect Your Emotions?
Both children and adults can suffer from a variety of psychological effects related to untreated hearing loss, which can include frequent outbursts of anger, decreased self-confidence, rising frustration, embarrassment, fatigue, and depression. Many adults experience extended periods of deep sadness, and a form of grieving as hearing capacity continues to diminish. These and other symptoms of depression tend to contribute to other symptoms creating a vicious cycle, which is difficult to interrupt.
How Untreated Hearing Loss Disrupts Normal Life
As frustration, anxiety, and depression grows, individuals with untreated hearing loss either isolate or lash out at others. Untreated hearing loss contributes to these emotional struggles as well as producing a more extensive range of difficulties, including:
- Miscommunication Problems. Adults with hearing loss struggle with following directions or miss critical bits of information, creating problems due to miscommunication.
- Decreased Social Participation. Frustration with the inability to hear what others are saying caused most hearing loss sufferers to withdraw from participating in family and community gatherings. This lack of social participation continues to contribute to various depression and anxiety issues.
- Lower Productivity. According to the Better Hearing Institute, untreated hearing loss has disastrous effects on productivity, performance, and career success to the tune of up to $30,000 in annual income losses. Income loss tends to produce additional issues with anxiety and depression.
- Failing Family Relationships. Family relationships usually take the biggest hit from untreated hearing loss. Besides issues with misunderstandings, those closest to the person living with hearing loss have to deal with roller-coaster emotions, straining family, and romantic relationships
Put an End to the Emotional Effects of Hearing Loss
The most frustrating part of this issue for me relates to the fact that hearing loss is treatable. It is a well-understood medical condition with a variety of practical solutions with proven treatment track records. By using comprehensive testing to identify your level of hearing loss and prescribe the best treatment options, audiologists can restore your hearing capacity as well as put an end to the emotional effects of hearing loss.
My team and I at Acadian Hearing want you to enjoy a better quality of life and greater independence without having to drag around weighty emotional issues like anxiety, depression, and frustration. Our Lake Charles area clinic has the equipment, and we have the expertise to determine your level of hearing loss and provide the best treatment options to help restore your relationships.
Contact us to learn more about the hearing loss solutions provided by Acadian Hearing or request a call back to have your questions answered or set up an appointment.