How Does Hearing Loss Impact Your Quality of Life?
On initial inspection, hearing loss may not seem like a particularly concerning condition. Yes, you lose the ability to hear, but we live in a world where we can turn the volume up on a range of devices, while we can simply ask friends and family to speak louder. In the modern world, is hearing loss really that much of a concern?
While it is understandable to believe that hearing loss is not a significant factor in the modern world, the experiences of those who have experienced the condition tell a different story. In fact, hearing loss can impact your life in a variety of different ways.
Conversations with loved ones are vital to your personal relationships, but these become incredibly difficult if you are experiencing hearing loss. You may find that you will lose the flow of the conversation, or have to repeatedly pause to ask the person you are conversing with to repeat themselves at a louder volume. Without effective communication, many people who experience hearing loss find that their personal relationships are adversely affected as a result.
Avoidance of social situations
Due to the above issues with conversations, many people who experience hearing loss avoid social situations. This impacts the quality of life significantly and can lead to isolation and feelings of loneliness, as well as feelings of not being able to ask for the support you need.
Higher probability of experiencing falls
Falls are part and parcel of life; we all trip up on occasion, or lose our balance for seemingly no reason. However, untreated hearing loss can lead to a far higher number of falls. Not only are these falls painful in the moment, but fear of falling can also lead those experiencing hearing loss to avoid physical activity - which can be harmful both for your social life and even for your physical fitness.
Mental health issues
People with hearing loss are more likely to develop mental health issues - such as stress, anxiety, or depression - than the general populace. These mental health issues can significantly impact your quality of life, and can even impact your ability to live your version of a normal life.
Higher risk of dementia
The link between hearing loss and dementia is well known and should be a primary consideration when judging how your hearing loss may impact your life. While hearing loss does not cause dementia, your risks of experiencing this neurological condition are greatly enhanced if your hearing loss is not treated. While the risk of dementia in and of itself does not impact your quality of life, if you were to go on to experience dementia - and your hearing loss had been a contributory factor - then your lifestyle would be greatly impeded as a result.
As you can see, hearing loss rarely just impacts your ability to hear; it has knock-on consequences for a variety of different parts of your life. If you suspect that you are experiencing hearing loss, then the best advice is to speak to an audiologist and undergo a hearing test as soon as possible. If hearing loss is found, then it can be managed, which ensures you avoid all of the issues as described above.