Effective communication is integral to how we live our lives. It is the basis of healthy relationships, participation in activities and hobbies, successful job performance etc. One of the major impacts of hearing loss is that it often strains communication. Impaired hearing reduces a person’s ability to absorb and process sound which makes it difficult to hear clearly.
Engaging with others and having conversations becomes challenging which can significantly impact relationships. It is important to identify and address hearing loss which can alleviate the symptoms affecting your daily life!
Impact of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health condition that older adults experience. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, 1 in 8 people have some degree of hearing loss! Impaired hearing can be caused by several factors including existing medical conditions (hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes etc.), environmental exposure to loud noise, genetic history, and aging. Hearing loss often happens gradually so it can be overlooked for quite some time, worsening the impairment its range of symptoms:
- Tinnitus which is a buzzing or ringing noise in one or both ears
- Sounds are muffled or slurred
- Needing to increase the volume on electronic devices
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves, speak loudly and/or slowly
- Moving to a quieter setting to have a conversation
- Hearing is better in one ear over the other
- Reading mouths to identify words
The experience of these symptoms makes it tough to follow and enjoy conversations which can feel like too much work rather than pleasure. Struggling through conversations can frustrate everyone involved and can lead to people with hearing loss avoiding social interactions altogether. Social withdrawal results in spending less time with family and friends which not only impacts those relationships, but also mental and emotional health.
Benefits of Treatment
If you recognize any of these symptoms, it is extremely important to have your hearing checked. Early detection of hearing loss can significantly help you with treatment that leads to better hearing health. Treating hearing loss has countless benefits that improve your relationships and the overall quality of your life by:
- Strengthening Communication: treating hearing loss alleviates the symptoms that were a barrier to hearing and communicating effectively. People are better able to process sound and do not have to exert themselves in trying to hear or rely on others to understand what is being communicated. Exhaustion caused by the brain working overtime in trying to hear is alleviated so people with hearing loss are not emotionally and physically depleted.
- Restoring Sense of Self: enhanced communication and increased ability to hear allows people to navigate their day with greater ease. People can perform tasks, have conversations, engage in their hobbies more fully – without the constant distraction or disruption of untreated hearing loss. This boosts independence, confidence, and one’s sense of self.
- Improving Overall Health: better communication and enhanced wellness supports people being physically and socially active. Improved relationships are integral to social wellness and mental health. Treating hearing loss also reduces risk of developing other medical conditions.
The ability to spend time with others more easily – uncomplicated by untreated hearing loss – restores the fun and joy of relationships!
Treatment for Hearing Loss
The first step in seeking treatment is to schedule an appointment with a hearing healthcare specialist for a hearing test. Hearing tests involve a painless process that measures your hearing ability in both ears. This identifies any impairment, the degree, and specific type of hearing loss you may be experiencing. Your results also establish your specific hearing needs which informs the most effective treatment options that will meet those needs.
There are several ways that hearing loss is effectively treated. The most common treatment is hearing aids which are electronic devices designed to absorb and process sound. Like most electronics today, hearing aids have experienced much innovation! They are smaller and savvier than ever, offering a range of features and technologies that create optimal listening experiences in all environments.
Hearing aids significantly improve a person’s hearing which has multifaceted effects: enhanced communication, boost of confidence, improved relationships, and overall health and wellness! Contact us today to learn more about our hearing health services.