Hearing loss can affect more than your hearing capabilities. It can make you self-doubt and question not, your own self but also your surroundings. Hearing loss is different for each individual and is often seen adversely affecting their personality leading to denial and anger. Audiologists and speech pathologists don’t just analyze your hearing loss, they also advise and guide the individuals on overcoming the psychological effects that they might be coming across because of their hearing loss. No two human bodies react the same way in an adverse situation. Similarly, in the case of hearing loss as well the reaction of a child will differ with that of an adult or even two adults can react very differently in the same situation of partial hearing loss.
Man is a social animal who seeks interaction and communication in general. The situation of hearing loss can make this a difficult process. It can be like having a disability which others cannot see. Research has found that people with hearing loss have a reduction in normal social activities, increased problems in their relationship with family or friends, greater emotional difficulties at work and also higher levels of anxiety, depression, interpersonal sensitivity and hostility.
Some of the psychological effects of hearing loss are as follows-
- Anger and Denial
A lot of adults face this issue where they cannot comprehend the gradual but major change in their lives and often go into denial. They refuse to accept that they are suffering from hearing loss and hence, seeking solutions for hearing loss becomes even more difficult. The emotion of anger becomes their defense which they use in this situation.
- Anxiety and Depression
In the words of Dr. Rhee “When someone with hearing loss is having a conversation with someone else…it can create a lot of stress and worry that they are going to miss hearing parts of the conversation and fear that they are struggling to hear.” Hearing loss and anxiety are often correlated. This change in the lives of individuals is not easy and can lead to symptoms like crying, weight gains, disturbed sleep, etc.
- Isolation and Social Withdrawal
It is common for humans to avoid groups or occasions where they don’t feel welcomed. This feeling gets even more amplified when suffering from hearing loss. They often feel everyone is ignoring them, because they are not able to actively participate in any conversation. “The frustration of not being able to hear in these situations may lead people to avoid going out in public or meeting up with family and friends, which can sadly cause them to become socially isolated,” says Dr. Paul K Farrell, an audiologist from WebMd.
Just like anything more challenging requires physical and mental strength both or a simple exercise of mental math can physically tire us too. Similarly, trying to hear more actively while suffering from hearing loss is an exhausting process. This exhaustion is both physical and mental and can end up leaving an individual always weak and tired. This is especially seen in old aged patients as their age already exhausts them and hearing loss is an additional exhaustion that they have to deal with everyday.
Many of these issues are common and can be present in individuals with hearing loss without necessarily being problematic. Whether or not they rise to the level of being a problem is determined by a complex combination of personality and environment. We, as a society need to address the issue of hearing loss and not treat it like a taboo, we need to move past the social stigma associated with the problem and treat it like any other curable problem. When you get a fever you don’t feel ashamed, you take medicine and get treated. Same is the case with your ears, if they are suffering from a problem which is curable, find the best hearing solutions at HAC and enjoy each moment of your life.
We at HAC, love to make you hear better !!
Happy Hearing !!