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Do you lead an active social life, and love meeting with family and friends any chance you get? Hearing is your most importance sense when it comes to connecting with others, and if you want to stay socially connected, looking after your hearing health is extremely important. You want to easily hear every word, and catch the punchline of every joke. Even if you’re not the most gregarious member of your friend group, living with untreated hearing loss will soon make social activities unbearable, and you’ll be facing anxiety, social isolation, and even depression.
Hearing Loss and Anxiety
Hearing loss affects your ability to hear in all situations, but you’ll notice it the most when you struggle to follow conversations. You strain to hear what’s been said, but have a hard time making sense of the words. In places with a lot of background noise, you struggle to even separate speech sounds from distracting background sounds. The stress of trying to interpret all the sounds around you leads to fatigue, and you’ll find yourself tense and stressed as you strain to make sense of what’s happening around you. You can’t quite understand the meaning behind the words even though you hear most of the sounds, and you’re easily frustrated at yourself and others for your inability to hear conversations.
When you have hearing loss, you often ask friends to repeat themselves. You may mishear a question, or feel embarrassed if you’ve answered inappropriately. The stress of these interactions can lead to anxiety, and you feel anxious whenever you’re meeting a group of friends, or having dinner with family in a crowded restaurant. You may stop answering the phone, and conversations that used to bring joy become difficult or frustrating. Untreated hearing loss also increases anxiety because you’ll struggle to interpret the sounds around you, and have a hard time reacting to your surroundings. New or unfamiliar places are especially difficult, and those with hearing loss avoid navigating a new place.
Hearing Loss and Social Isolation
As your hearing worsens, you start to avoid social situations that make you feel anxious or uncomfortable, and choose to stay home rather than join in conversations where you simply can’t follow what’s been said. Your social network will shrink, you won’t be as socially active, and you’ll start to isolate yourself at home. Hearing loss leaves you feeling misunderstood, and you worry about being a burden to others. As the communication gap widens, you may even begin to avoid small social events such as family gatherings or birthday parties. Once these connections have been broken, it can be very difficult to reconnect with loved ones, or catch up all everything you’ve missed.
Those with social isolation have more limited mobility, and have an earlier onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you have social isolation, you’ll have a reduced quality of life, and experience the mental, emotional, and physical consequences of being lonely and isolated.
Hearing Loss and Depression
When you’re dealing with hearing loss and anxiety, and struggle to connect with loved ones, your risk of depression increases. The breakdown in your ability to communicate with others leaves you feeling isolated and alone, and you have a hard time connecting with others. It’s no wonder that those with hearing loss often experience depression and a far lower quality of life since they feel cut off from the people around them.
It’s hard to notice the exact moment when you start to disconnect from your community. Maybe you’ve skipped the last couple of dinners with friends, but made excuses about your health, or the weather. Did you actually avoid the event because of your hearing loss? Were you feeling anxious or worried about keeping up with the conversations?
If you can’t follow conversations or enjoy social events, visit us at Dr. Hear, and find the hearing devices that will help you stay socially connected. Hearing aids can restore your ability to communicate effectively, help you hear conversations, and make sense of the world around you. We want you to enjoy your community and your favorite restaurant, and feel excited to connect with loved ones. Call us today at Dr. Hear and stay socially connected with the people who matter the most.