How Hearing Loss Treatment Can Lessen Loneliness

How Hearing Loss Treatment Can Lessen Loneliness

Just because we are alone doesn’t mean we are lonely. There are those quiet moments when we get to read or rest by ourselves that feel regenerative. However, everyone gets lonely every now and then. Every now and then, everyone gets lonely every now and then. We all feel lonely from time to time. When these feelings start to occur more and more often it can become pervasive affecting our mood and sense of well being.

This can particularly become an issue for us as we age. Older adults often suffer from loneliness after retirement or the loss of someone close to us. Often, health issues such as decreased mobility or hearing loss can compound feelings of loneliness creating a near permanent state of isolation, depression, mental confusion, and increasing the risk of dementia. A 2015 study  found that loneliness may be very detrimental to your health, increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke and increasing your risk of dying by up to 26%.

Loneliness and Your Health

We as humans are social creatures. Connection isn’t just something that we crave but something we rely on for our emotional and subsequently our emotional health. Social interaction helps us to feel connected and part of something larger than ourselves. When we don’t receive connection it’s very common for people to display physical reactions. Chronic stress in our body releases cortisol – the stress hormone in our body. Cortisol is commonly released when we require our fight or flight response to kick in. This puts us in a constant state of adrenaline which doesn’t let our body get the rest it needs. With chronic stress people often experience 

  • Elevated heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of heart disease or a stroke
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Decreased immune system response 

Hearing Loss and Loneliness

What was that? You may find yourself asking this more and more often. If this is true for you it’s likely you have a hearing loss. Hearing loss is increasingly common as we age affecting one in three 65 and older and one in two of those 75 years and older. Even so, hearing loss and its detrimental effects can occur at any age. It’s common to underestimate the effects of hearing loss on your generalized health. However, hearing loss can make it difficult to hear the people around you. 

Hearing loss actually is the process of damage to the inner ear which interrupts the delivery of sound from your ears to your brain. This leaves blanks in conversation in the middle of words and sentences. This requires increased effort to hold conversation and can be incredibly frustrating as well as exhausting. Overtime, people with an unaddressed hearing loss start to opt out of social situations to avoid the strain, exhaustion and frustration of struggling to hear.

Even when you are surrounded by the people you love, hearing loss can wedge a gap in your ability to communicate. The effects in couples who have lived years together, with a present hearing loss is that everyday communication starts to break down. Not just important sharing of ideas and stories, but the quiet moments. The quiet banter over breakfast or inside jokes are often the building blocks of intimacy. As these become less frequent intimacy diminishes and loneliness sets in even when you are together.

Treating Hearing Loss to Lessen Loneliness

Hearing loss is in most cases a permanent condition, but the good news is that it is very treatable using hearing aids. These tiny digital devices fit in or around your ear canal and help to amplify the sounds you struggle with- based on your last hearing exam. When you invest in hearing aids you will find that in just a short time you will have a leg up on the conversation. You’ll find social situations will start to feel more accessible and you may notice a deeper connection with your significant other.

Addressing Your Hearing Health

The first step towards better hearing health and consequently improved relationships and decreased loneliness is to schedule a hearing exam. We can test your hearing, diagnose the extent of your hearing loss, and help you determine the best solution for your hearing issues. Start connecting to the people and your life you love now by scheduling your next hearing exam with us today.