Logistical hearing loss issues include difficult communication, decreased awareness of your surroundings and more. In addition to the logistical issues, hearing loss is often accompanied by emotional side effects including but not limited to:
- Shame and feelings of inadequacy
- Feelings of awkwardness in social situations
Let’s examine each of these emotions more closely.
Depression From Hearing Loss
People with hearing loss are at an elevated risk for developing depression, which manifests as a consistent feeling of sadness.
A study testing the effect of hearing loss on depression used a nine-item patient questionnaire with a depression scale to determine the frequency of depression symptoms in participants over two weeks. The study found, “The prevalence of moderate to severe depression was 4.9% for individuals reporting excellent hearing, 7.1% for those with good hearing, and 11.4% for participants who reported a little trouble or greater HL.”
If you begin experiencing feelings of depression, consider journaling, taking a meditation class at Austin Zen Center or consulting a mental health professional.
Anxiety From Hearing Loss
An evaluation of the prevalence of anxiety disorders in people with hearing loss assessed the results of 25 studies evaluating 17,135 people. The results showed that anxiety prevalence was higher in people with hearing loss in eight out of ten studies.
The study further concluded that anxiety is almost certainly associated with hearing loss itself, as the severity of anxiety was usually reduced after surgical treatment.
Feelings of Shame and Inadequacy From Hearing Loss
Feelings of inadequacy may arise when you cannot hear or understand things you feel you should. There is no need to feel inadequate because of your hearing loss. Approximately 15% of American adults report some trouble hearing. Take comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone in your hearing loss, and don’t be afraid to ask for support.
Feelings of Awkwardness in Social Situations
Hearing loss can make communication with large groups of people feel challenging or awkward. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to hang out in smaller groups or face you while they speak. Discussing your needs will help you have a more stress-free time during social outings.
You may also want to consider using hearing aids to reduce awkwardness in social situations. Hearing aids will help amplify speech sounds and reduce background noise to make conversations clearer and more understandable.
To speak to a hearing specialist about your treatment options, contact River ENT today.