July is social wellness month, a time to nurture both yourself and your personal relationships. This year, fostering our relationships is especially important as we are able to see our friends and family again. Social support is an essential part of human wellness, but it can be difficult to stay social if you experience hearing loss.
When we think about the symptoms of hearing loss, we often don’t consider the impact it can have on our mental health. It may be surprising to learn that hearing loss is strongly associated with symptoms of depression.
It can be very difficult for someone with hearing loss to socialize in the same way that they used to. Many people who experience hearing loss withdraw from social situations and group gatherings, as they are unable to hear conversations and follow along with multiple speakers. This leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially when the individual with hearing loss knows they are missing out on a good time.
Straining to listen and understand the conversations that are going on can be fatiguing, and removing themselves from the situation entirely may feel like the easier option.
Hearing loss has also been linked to a reduced cognitive function, which can be especially scary as we age. Parts of our brain that process auditory data can shrink if we aren’t using them, even if this is not on purpose. Maintaining relationships and socializing is one way to help prevent further cognitive decline, and hearing loss can make this seem impossible.
So what is the good news? Treating hearing loss can help to treat the symptoms of depression that come along with it. Hearing aids have been shown to improve cognition, depression, and quality of life for those with hearing loss. Use of hearing aids can also benefit individual’s independence, confidence levels, and relationships with those around them.
This month, if you find yourself struggling to maintain and nurture your relationships due to your hearing, call us to book a hearing test. Let's get your social life back on track!