How Hearing Loss Treatment Can Lessen Loneliness

In Cognitive Health, Hearing Loss by Roselynn Gamboa Young, Au.D., CCC-A

Roselynn Gamboa Young, Au.D., CCC-A

If you’ve been feeling isolated or lonely in the past couple of years, you’re not alone. Loneliness is an emotion that often comes and goes. It’s usually short-lived and harmless. But what happens when loneliness sticks around? One study published a few years ago found that chronic loneliness can increase your risk of dying by 26%! Not only does loneliness decrease your quality of life, but it also increases your risk of depression, heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.

How Does Loneliness Affect Health?

Humans need connection. Just like we need food, water, and shelter to survive, we also need meaningful social connections. These relationships give meaning and purpose to our lives, motivate us to be more active, and even help exercise our brains. They also make us feel safe and tell us that we belong.

When we don’t have the social connections we need, we will start to notice changes in our health. Loneliness can be caused by a major life event, such as retiring or moving to a new city. Learning to manage a chronic health condition can also be isolating at first. Many older adults also experience the loss of a spouse and adjusting to life without your better half can be very lonely. 

When we feel isolated and lonely, our stress response kicks into gear. Our body senses a threat and pushes us into the fight or flight stress response. This sends cortisol rushing through our bodies. Our heart rate can increase, blood rushes to the muscles, and our body gets ready to respond to a threat. Chronic stress is bad for our health. It can increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It also increases the risk of diabetes, increases blood pressure, and weakens the immune system. 

Loneliness and Hearing Loss

But what does this have to do with hearing loss? It turns out that hearing loss also causes chronic loneliness. When you have hearing loss, conversations become a lot more challenging. You may struggle to hear what’s been said or miss things altogether. You and your loved ones may be frustrated when you can’t hear, or when you ask for constant clarification. Hearing loss can be isolating. Hearing loss makes it harder to enjoy social events or prioritize spending time with loved ones. 

If you have hearing loss, you’re probably more likely to stay home and avoid social events or crowds. Not surprisingly, hearing loss can lead to loneliness and social isolation.

How Treating Hearing Loss Can Lessen Loneliness

If you’re experiencing loneliness, consider treating your hearing loss! Quality hearing aids can make a huge difference in your life. Hearing aids give you back your ability to communicate with loved ones. You won’t have to strain to hear what’s being said or ask people to repeat themselves. You can enjoy all the special moments with family and friends that make life so meaningful. You’ll also have a lot more energy for other things when you’re not using all your energy to hear. Instead, you can spend more time with people you care about, start a new hobby, or rediscover an old hobby. Treating hearing loss can lessen loneliness, and lessen all the negative health effects of being lonely.

Love Your New Devices

Modern hearing aids are sophisticated devices that can make a huge difference in your hearing abilities. Speech enhancement programs make it easy to focus on speech, and this program will also make it easier to hear consonant sounds or other speech sounds you’re missing. Background noise reduction programs can make it easy to hear even in places with background noise. Other programs can help you listen to music in a whole new way, connect with your smartphone or other devices, or even manage tinnitus. Hearing aids not only lessen loneliness, but they also help you hear in a whole new way. 

Book a Hearing Test

It’s time to put your hearing health first. Book a hearing test today to learn more about your hearing health. Then explore your hearing aids options. Whether you want to hear noise, enjoy music again, or get back to following conversations with ease, we have the right hearing aids for you. Together we’ll find devices that fit your unique hearing needs, your lifestyle, and your budget.