Hearing loss can not only take a toll on the individual experiencing changes to their hearing health but also on your relationships. Hearing loss has multifaceted effects that impact all aspects of life: work, social engagement, health, and relationships. Treating hearing loss offers countless benefits that can transform your quality of life. This includes improving your relationships with coworkers and loved ones.
Impact of Untreated Hearing Loss
Hearing loss reduces one’s ability to detect and process sound. This produces numerous symptoms that make it challenging to hear. Over time, this can contribute to the following major effects of untreated hearing loss:
- Strained communication: hearing loss symptoms like tinnitus (buzzing or ringing sound in the ears) and muffled sounds, make it really challenging to navigate a conversation. These symptoms make it hard to hear which can cause you to miss parts of a conversation or experience miscommunication. People with hearing loss will often expend extra energy in trying to hear which is exhausting and can also lead to fatigue.
- Social withdrawal: because conversations become difficult to have, people often choose to avoid them. This means skipping out on social activities, spending less time with loved ones, and not participating in hobbies like you used to. Social withdrawal produces depressive symptoms like loneliness, anxiety, and stress.
- Toll on relationships: strained communication and social withdrawal can take a toll on relationships. Communication is key for sustaining and nurturing healthy relationships. So experiencing these challenges can affect connection, intimacy, and quality time. People often report feeling unheard or ignored by their loved one with hearing loss. This can lead to distance and frustration which impacts the relationship.
In addition to these effects of untreated hearing loss, it can also increase health risks. Extensive research shows that untreated hearing loss increases the risk of experiencing cognitive decline, depression, and accidental injuries. Intervening and addressing hearing loss as early as possible can prevent these outcomes and profoundly improve your life.
How Treatment Benefits Relationships
Acknowledging changes to hearing health can be difficult. It takes an average of 7 years for a person to address hearing loss. This delay in treatment can worsen impairment and also health as well as quality of life. Fortunately, hearing loss treatment is accessible and involves a noninvasive process. The most common treatment is hearing aids – electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process sound. This provides various benefits that enhance relationships, including:
- Strengthens communication: hearing aids alleviate hearing loss symptoms, making it much easier to hear speech and sound. This maximizes a person’s hearing capacity, allowing people to better navigate conversations. People are equipped with the support to navigate conversations and participate fully.
- Improves health: treating hearing loss improves health in a variety of ways. Hearing aids improve brain health, decreasing the risk of experiencing cognitive decline and developing conditions like Alzheimers. It also alleviates depressive symptoms and improves mental health by aiding with communication and social engagement. Hearing aids also increase spatial awareness and safety, decreasing the risk of experiencing accidental injuries.
- Enrichs social life: hearing aids support people across all types of environments and soundscapes. This includes while engaging in social activities and in social settings. People are better able to hear and readily communicate, allowing you to be more present and engaged. This enriches social life and connections with others.
- Enhanced relationships: strengthened communication, health, and social life all benefit relationships. Treatment allows people to spend quality time with others and participate fully in conversations. This nurtures intimacy and closeness which are important aspects of a relationship. Treating hearing loss also boosts confidence and wellness which helps people feel like better versions of themselves, also enhancing relationships.
It is important to know that hearing loss not only affects you but also those around you. So treating hearing loss can improve your relationships in countless ways.
Prioritize Your Hearing Health!
The first step towards treating hearing loss is having your hearing tested. Hearing tests involve a painless process that measures your hearing ability in each ear. This establishes your hearing needs which allows us to create a treatment plan that will effectively meet those needs. You can get started today by calling us to schedule an appointment.