Without a doubt, there are many things that we take for granted in life. Running water, readily available food at the corner store or restaurant, phones in the palm of our hand to make communication fast and easy and now even WiFi wherever we go. It is when we lose these things that we usually realize what an integral part they play in our daily lives.
Fully functioning hearing is no different. So what is life like when hearing loss turns down the volume?
The little things
With untreated hearing loss, many of the little sounds can be lost. The sound of a car pulling into the drive, the rustle and rush of nature outside or little laughs coming in from the backyard. These sounds help to color life and connect us to the world.
When we think of hearing loss and what it looks like in day-to-day life, one of the first things we consider is how it affects communication. From answering the telephone to communicating with others while running errands to ordering or even taking part in a conversation in busy a restaurant, untreated hearing problems can be a source of frustration and stress when communicating throughout the day.
Coping strategies to deal with hearing loss and breakdowns in communicating with others can often put a strain on relationships. A television regularly turned up loud so one hearing impaired family member can watch may, over time, frustrate and anger the rest of the family. Misunderstandings that appear to be a lack of consideration can result in difficulties between spouses when a hidden hearing loss is actually at fault. People with hearing loss, whether it has been diagnosed or not, may even begin to draw away from friends and family to avoid tiring and frustrating socializing.
Physical and mental side effects
When left untreated, hearing loss can have negative consequences both daily and long-term. These side effects, many of which have been linked to the difficulties with communication and strain on relationships, include:
- Listening fatigue
- Feelings of embarrassment or isolation
- Increased risk of depression
- Cognitive decline
During the day, these can mean increased fatigue, forgetfulness and even loneliness on top of hearing loss.
Turn Up the Volume Again
Living with hearing loss doesn’t have to mean living a half-heard life. Treating hearing loss is the first step to improving communication and relationships, reducing your risk of conditions such as depression and anxiety and experiencing much more of the sound around us.
- If you believe you or someone you care about is living with hearing loss, contact a hearing healthcare provider to schedule a hearing evaluation. This evaluation will determine if and to what degree hearing may be impaired.
- If you are diagnosed with hearing loss, work with the provider or a hearing aid specialist to find the best options for you and your lifestyle. The best hearing aids will help you navigate your days with ease in a hearing world.
- Schedule regular hearing tests. Work closely with your provider on regular hearing aid adjustments to keep devices working at their best and to monitor any changes to hearing.
Don’t let hearing loss hurt your health and relationships, take action to live a fully heard life every day.