Given how much we rely on auditory inputs in our everyday life, it isn’t hard to imagine that suffering from hearing loss can have a profound impact on our mental and physical health. In particular, this condition can have severe psychological complications and interfere with your ability to work, take part in social activities, or even simply follow a conversation with a loved one.
Fortunately, you can protect both your hearing and your mental health simply by understanding more of the connection between these two elements, and by taking the right step to promote hearing health. Let’s start with the guide below.
Hearing Loss Can Increase the Risk of Depression
Studies like the one published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information have long confirmed that there is a direct correlation between hearing loss and an increased risk of mental health problems like depression.
The findings indicated that individuals experiencing hearing impairment were significantly more likely to develop depressive symptoms, and they also reported generally lower well-being.
Hearing Problems May Heighten Anxiety Levels
Hearing loss can profoundly impact your emotional well-being – in more ways than one. For instance, when your ability to hear decreases, you might find yourself becoming more anxious in social environments and struggling to keep up with ongoing conversations.
You might worry about missing out on important information or misunderstand spoken words. Over time, this can lead to severe anxiety disorders that require medical attention.
Being Hard of Hearing Can Lead to Social Isolation and Loneliness
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Being hard of hearing whether due to a natural process of aging or other causes can lead to social isolation and loneliness. In fact, research shows that a startling 33% of the global adult population reports feeling lonely on a regular basis. Hearing loss is one of the health conditions that most significantly impact a person’s ability to live a fulfilling social life.
The difficulty in maintaining proper communication could easily isolate those with auditory issues, catapulting them further into feelings of solitude and loneliness.
Impaired Hearing Contributes to Cognitive Decline and Dementia
Impaired hearing isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s a serious risk factor for cognitive decline and dementia. When you struggle to hear, your brain works overtime to fill in the missing sounds, which can exhaust and gradually weaken your cognitive abilities.
Over time, this constant mental strain can lead to significant memory loss and could even trigger dementia. In turn, a loss of cognitive function can lead to isolation, anxiety, and depressive episodes, and it can prevent you from continuing to live independently as you age.
Pro Tip: Learning More About Hearing Loss Can Help You Safeguard Your Mental Health
Given the impact that hearing loss can have on your mental health, it is important to educate yourself about strategies to protect your hearing, available screening tests, and hearing aid options. If you are unsure where to start, reliable resources such as Hearing Research should be your first port of call.
However, don’t forget that every person’s circumstances are unique. Because of this, partnering with an audiologist can help you access solutions to protect your hearing health designed around your specific needs.
Poor Hearing Can Cause Communication and Professional Struggles
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Hearing loss impacts more than just your social life.
Firstly, poor hearing can significantly impact your career. It can affect your ability to effectively communicate in professional scenarios, which could limit promotion opportunities.
Secondly, diminished productivity due to hearing loss can result in lost workdays and reduced work hours. This resulting loss of income may trigger financial anxiety and stress, adding to your overall mental health challenges.
Hearing Problems Can Lower Self-Esteem
If you have hearing problems, you may start noticing that other aspects of your general well-being are affected. In particular, if you are unable to follow conversations along, take part in social activities, and feel like you are not as productive as you should be while at work, you may start suffering from low self-esteem.
Fortunately, there are several techniques that can help you improve your general emotional and physical well-being, including meditation, body-mind activities, yoga, and breathing exercises.
Regain Your Mental Health By Partnering With an Audiologist
As we have seen above, hearing loss is a condition that should not be underestimated, especially if it has started to affect your mental health. In this case, working with a psychologist or therapist can help you, but don’t forget that your problem should be tackled at its source. That’s where partnering with an audiologist can help you understand how to safeguard your hearing and discover the right hearing aid solution for your needs.
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