mental health

How hearing loss can affect your mental health

Having strong interpersonal relationships and social supports is an important aspect of maintaining your mental wellness. How does taking care of your hearing fit in to this? Your hearing is a key part of your ability to connect with others and participate in social settings. It has been found that people with untreated hearing loss are more likely to experience feelings of social isolation, anxiety, and depression.  If you are struggling with hearing and understanding speech, the idea of being in large groups or noisy situations can become something that brings more anxiety than excitement. This is why it is very common for people with hearing loss, especially if untreated, to avoid social situations and isolate themselves from their loved ones.

This loss of connection in one’s interpersonal relationships can bring on more serious feelings of anxiety and depression if not dealt with. According to the Better Hearing Institute (2012), people over the age of 50 with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and frustration, as well as being less likely to participate in organized social activities compared to those who had normal hearing.

How to be proactive

It’s important to be aware of both signs of hearing loss and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Being able to identify when you might be experiencing one of these health issues allows you to be able to find the help you need.

So what can you do? An easy first step to prioritizing both your hearing and mental health is to get your hearing tested.

Hearing loss often comes on gradually and can be hard to notice at first. Perhaps you might not have even realized that you’ve been avoiding social situations more and more. That’s why it’s important to get your hearing tested. If it turns out you do have hearing loss, your hearing care professional will able to help you find a hearing solution to help you feel comfortable in social settings.

If you already wear hearing aids but are still finding yourself anxious in social situations where you feel unable to understand and participate comfortably, talk to your hearing care professional about this. They may be able to adjust your hearing device, suggest an additional hearing accessory that can supplement your hearing aid in tough situations, as well as provide management strategies to use for those most difficult hearing environments.

Now is a great time to take care of your hearing. Take action today!

If you’re interesting in speaking to a hearing care professional regarding your hearing health, book an appointment at your local clinic.