What are the Emotional Effects of Hearing Loss?
We’re often quick to dismiss the seriousness of hearing loss. Maybe you think it’s simply the result of a cold or a little too much earwax buildup and will go away on its own. However, hearing loss can have a number of causes, which is why it’s important to visit an audiologist when you notice any symptoms developing. Left untreated, hearing loss can also have a number of impacts on your emotional wellbeing, from stress to depression.
Loneliness is the most common emotional side effect of hearing loss. Left untreated, hearing loss can make social interaction arduous and exhausting. Following a conversation in a busy restaurant or crowded bar can be almost impossible, leading us to take a back seat in the conversation. We can feel isolated and alone even when surrounded by close friends. Moreover, we can’t help but take it to heart when others invite us to participate less and less or when friends wince because our speaking volume is (unbeknownst to us) so much higher than that of our peers.
This can lead us increasingly to eschew social interaction and leave us feeling more and more isolated and lonely.
Hearing loss adds an element of stress even to simple conversations. We strain to hear what to others may seem like a reasonable speaking volume and catching every detail in an important meeting can be an extremely stressful ordeal that leaves us feeling exhausted. Mishearings and misunderstandings can lead to mistakes at work which could curtail your career progression. Thus, interactions inside and outside of work can lead to increased stress or exacerbate the daily stress of an already difficult job.
Wherever there is stress, depression typically isn’t far behind. As our bodies secrete stress hormones, this has a rollover effect on our brains’ levels of serotonin and dopamine which can send our mood crashing down. Those who already have issues with depression can find it hugely exacerbated by hearing loss with gravely serious consequences.
Therefore, even if you have just the slightest suspicion that you may have hearing loss you owe it to yourself to make an appointment with your audiologist. The future of your emotional wellbeing may just depend on it!
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