The correlation between hearing loss and mental health problems can’t be ignored with increased stress, anxiety, cognitive disorders and depression among those with impaired hearing.
Much of it is a result of the social isolation that occurs when hearing impaired people, especially older adults, deliberately withdraw from their friends and family because they’re embarrassed or don’t have the energy to try to keep up with conversations they can’t hear clearly.
Hearing Loss and Anxiety in Adults
When you can’t hear clearly, especially conversations among the group of people you’re with, you start to worry that you might have missed something important or that people will laugh or make fun of you.
Saying the wrong thing because you didn’t hear the question properly can happen often enough that you start to become anxious in company and go to great lengths to avoid it.
This perpetuates a cycle where you’re anxious when you stay home, and you’re anxious when you go out, for different reasons.
Hearing Loss and Stress
Stress and anxiety often go together so your constant anxiety is going to make you stressed. Worrying about not being able to hear warnings, traffic, phones or smoke alarms will make you even more stressed because you’re putting yourself and others in danger.
If your hearing loss is still untreated, you’ll also be stressed about going for a hearing test, needing hearing aids and what others might think of you.
Hearing Loss and Depression
Your daily stress and anxiety can start to affect your life so much that it leads to depression. Isolating yourself from other people because you feel awkward or embarrassed only makes you feel worse, and you may lose interest in your hobbies and activities, have trouble sleeping, and suffer other health problems. You might be performing poorly at work, taking too many days off, and even lose your job, which will affect your self-esteem even more.
Hearing Loss and Cognitive Decline
Poor hearing is also associated with cognitive decline, particularly in older people. It’s still not clear whether hearing loss is the cause of cognitive decline and dementia or whether it’s just a risk factor.
It’s thought that the strain and stress of trying to hear and understand conversations can become too much for the brain and weaken it, resulting in short term memory and problem solving skills deteriorating.
Book a Free Hearing Test and Consultation
At Health and Hearing, we have more than 30 years of experience working with veterans, seniors and working Australians. We understand that seeking help for diminishing hearing can be stressful, but we’re here to help you with this sensitive issue.
If your ability to hear properly is reduced know that you’re not alone and help is available. Reduced hearing is a common concern and increased awareness of the problems it can cause has resulted in more resources becoming more easily accessible.