Hearing loss, a prevalent condition that affects one in eight people in the United States, can be left untreated or unnoticed for many years. Experts estimated that approximately 28.8-million adults could benefit from the sound correction delivered by hearing aids. Nearly a quarter of older adults aged 65 to 74 and almost half of all adults aged over 75 have some form of debilitating hearing loss.
Unfortunately, less than 30% of seniors who could benefit from audio correction use hearing devices. Yet, younger adults also miss out on valuable audio improvements, as only 16% of those aged between 20-69 who could benefit from wearing hearing instruments use them.
In other words, getting your hearing checked could ensure you receive the support you need. However, most people fail to realize how instrumental your hearing is to your mental health. Here is how getting your hearing checked could improve your mood.
Hearing Loss Is an Isolating Experience
Hearing loss can lead to social isolation for millions of adults who don’t use hearing aids. Indeed, it is hard to participate in conversations and social events when you are unable to hear what is happening around you. As a result, individuals with hearing loss feel like they have no choice but to isolate themselves from parties and discussions. Watching others have a good time when you can’t join them can be upsetting.
Isolation, unfortunately, is a significant trigger for depression and loneliness. Untreated hearing loss can contribute to depressive symptoms. Additionally, the likelihood of developing depression increases significantly with hearing loss. According to a study, every drop in incremental hearing ability, measured in signal-to-noise ratio, leads to a five percent increased risk of developing depression.
Untreated Hearing Loss Can Lead to Confusion
Hearing loss doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t hear any sound. But it can lead to distortion of sounds and difficulties following conversations in a loud environment. As a result, individuals who experience hearing loss without wearing hearing aids are more likely to misunderstand information or miss essential sounds.
For instance, you could fail to understand audio instructions, which can lead to confusion. Alternatively, you could also feel startled when cars or pedestrians appear on your path. Indeed, if you can’t make out approaching sounds, it can be confusing when an obstacle suddenly appears out of nowhere on your path.
The brain constantly filters audio information to let you know what is being said and what is happening. Unfortunately, when audio information is missing, the individual is constantly faced with unexpected and startling events. In the long term, this state of confusion can contribute to anxiety disorders, as the person worries about what could happen to them.
Not Knowing There Is Something Wrong with You
You may not realize that you have hearing loss. If you do not get your hearing checked, you could assume that your hearing is fine. As a result, it is easy to find other explanations for your situation.
An individual with untreated hearing loss could believe that people intentionally exclude them from conversations and events. It’s easy to see how the situation can get out of control and affect your mental health. Even if it isn’t the case in reality, feeling rejected by your peers can lead to depressive disorders, paranoia and social anxiety. Therefore, getting hearing aids fitted with the help of a hearing instrument specialist could significantly transform your mood by addressing worries.
Blaming Your Mental Health Rather Than Hearing Loss
Contrary to common belief, not everyone who experiences hearing loss lives a silent life. More often than not, hearing loss can be accompanied by ringing noises or echoes. When hearing loss is caused by damage in the inner ear, your brain could pick up inaccurate signals.
As a result, it is possible to hear things that are not there – in most cases, this is called subjective tinnitus . However, if you are not aware of your condition, you could blame it on your mental health. Ultimately, hearing sounds is a psychiatric condition, which can be a scary thought for someone with hearing loss.
Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Quality of Life
Wearing hearing aids can transform your everyday experiences. Hearing correction is crucial to maintaining social connections, focus and mental agility. Additionally, hearing aids can help professionals step up their careers confidently, ensuring they can support their personal growth through interpersonal communication.
In other words, hearing aids can give you the confidence to pursue your personal goals, both in the office and in your private life. It’s also worth mentioning that listening to music, one of the most significant mood boosters recognized by science, becomes enjoyable and possible again once you receive hearing devices.
If you wish to discuss your hearing needs with a hearing instrument specialist, our team at Byron’s Hudson Valley Hearing Aid Centers, call us today at 845-481-9267, 845-232-2147 and 845-481-9266.