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  • 02 Jan 2019
  • Co-morbidity

How hearing loss can lead to a sense of isolation and depression

Can you imagine living every single day with the fear that you are getting cut off emotionally and socially from everything you love? This is what a family member might be going through if they are struggling with hearing loss. When left untreated, it has more than just physical impact – it upsets their emotional and social balance too.

Unheard emotions

When your loved one is coping with hearing loss, they have to strain to hear what is being said, and often have to ask people to repeat themselves. They feel anxious on causing inconvenience and end conversations quickly. In turn, other family members and friends, too, find it difficult to talk with them. There is limited communication from both ends, which leads to your loved one feeling lonely, ignored and out of place. They withdraw and prefer spending time alone.

Over a period of time, this can cause mental stress that increases the risk of developing clinical depression.

Depression is a medical condition where a person’s thoughts, emotions and actions are negatively affected. Not being able to hear their favourite music, shows, or even the familiar voices of their family and friends, becomes a starting point. They feel everyone around is always irritated with them. Over time, they feel unsafe and dependent even when stepping out of home, since they are prone to falls.

This state of mind cannot be healthy for your loved one. But thankfully, it needn’t stay this way. Proper diagnosis and treatment with the right hearing aid can ensure their hearing improves, and so does their state of mind.

Advantages of a timely treatment

The National Council on The Aging (NCOA) conducted a survey and found that among those with severe hearing loss, 30% of those who do not use hearing aids reported feeling sad and lonely, compared to a lower count of 22% among those who do use hearing aids. 

With regular use of hearing aid, your loved one can experience better communication, and a sense of inclusion in daily life. They will also be more confident to step out and be a part of their social circles, making them independent again. All this, of course, keeps their mind healthy and happy.

How can you help?

If your family member is facing a hearing issue and seems to be isolating themselves, start by talking to them about getting a hearing test. It’s possible that they do not like the idea of wearing a hearing aid and hence will avoid diagnosis. But patiently explain to them that getting treatment early on can prevent a lot more trouble like not understanding people around, and not being able to take part in activities that keep them happy.

The journey begins with finding out the extent of hearing loss.

We would be happy to partner you in helping your loved one manage their hearing loss, not just with the right diagnosis, but with counselling and guidance that is practical, and customised to their lifestyle and hearing challenges.

Take the initiative to chat with them about treatment, and ensure they don’t miss out on conversations any more.