Hearing: The link between the world and you
Hearing Loss affects a person’s ability to communicate with the people around him. Untreated hearing loss can cause significant challenges in one’s professional, social, and personal life. Hearing impairment can hamper one’s ability to communicate with others and result in loneliness, which in-turn can cause a host of mental health problems – including depression, anxiety, and frustration.
Deafness Separates us from People
Hearing is the first sense that develops in human beings. Babies can hear, even when they are in their mother’s womb. When we sleep, our other senses temporarily cease to work, but hearing continues to work. As a result, human beings feel exceptionally impaired and lost when they experience hearing loss.
People with untreated hearing loss, especially the elderly are likely to experience feelings of despair, anxiousness, and extreme fear. When these responses and emotions set in, it can leave individuals feeling very stressed. In many cases, it can also lead to or insomnia, or the inability to sleep. These signs begin to set in within weeks of the onset of hearing loss.
Hearing and Memory Formation
Humans are social animals. As we hear, we assimilate information which in turn keeps the brain active and agile. When the person experiences hearing loss, their brain slowly and steadily stops processing memories that are connected to hearing. As a result, the person begins to forget more.
Adults with untreated hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. When a person experiences hearing loss for a prolonged period of time, the section of the brain that is dedicated to hearing, slowly begins to grow inactive, resulting in tissue loss and ultimately plays a major role in triggering dementia, which in turn can make the person feel even more lonely and depressed!
The Link Between hearing and Loneliness
1 in every five 5 people experience hearing loss at some point of time in their lives. This hearing loss is strongly linked to loneliness. Studies have shown that every decibel drop in hearing perception in people increases the odds of becoming severely lonely by 7%.
The loneliness further exacerbates the stress experienced by the person, and can ultimately result in high blood pressure, elevated stress hormones and weakened immune systems.
How can this effect be reversed?
Using hearing aids and other assistive devices plays a significant role in alleviating the mental stress caused by hearing loss. Several adults often ignore or overlook the impact of hearing loss, or feel embarrassed to use hearing aids, completely unaware of the predicament that they are getting themselves into.
Mitigating or curing hearing loss through the use of hearing aids plays a significant role in reducing loneliness. Hearing Aids not only improve a person’s hearing—they also help preserve a person’s independence, mental abilities, and physical and mental health.
The Bottom Line
Early identification and treatment of a potential hearing loss helps minimize risks later in life. Appropriately treating hearing loss, at the right time leads to people feeling more alert and agile. It diminishes loneliness and a host of other problems experienced by hearing impaired people.