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How Does Hearing Loss Impact Your Life?

a woman with hearing loss

Hearing loss affects approximately 48 million Americans, with nine out of ten adults aged 50 of over reporting some degree of hearing disruption or difficulty. While some hearing loss might be congenital – occur at birth or through illness during pregnancy – the major part of hearing loss cases are acquired. They occur at some point during your lifetime, as a result of a variety of causes. Your hearing health weakens as you age, so it is expected for older adults to have the highest amount of hearing loss. 

When sounds become less clear and intelligible, your life is impacted by your reduced hearing heath. An audiologist will be the first to explain to you what your hearing loss means and how to address the issue. Indeed, while hearing aids provide adequate correction for many people, only 16% of the popular aged 20-69 who could benefit from wearing an earpiece use them. Their everyday communication at a social and professional level is affected by their hearing loss. Here is a brief overview of how uncorrected hearing loss can change your life. 

Not all hearing loss cases are the same

As mentioned above, not all hearing loss conditions are the same. People who experience congenital hearing loss, for instance, are more likely to have received hearing aids from a young age. They are not only used to hearing correction, but they also might have never experienced life without correction. 

In the case of acquired hearing loss as a result of a variety of events such as an ear infection, a traumatic head injury, prolonged or sudden exposure to loud noises or cardiovascular disease, people tend to experience a pre – and post – hearing loss effect. 

Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that hearing loss can happen at different degrees, ranging from mild to severe. Without making an appointment with an audiologist to test your hearing and find the adequate correction, it’s fair to say that the impact on your life can be diverse. Some people may not be aware they are experiencing mild hearing loss, for instance. Depending on their lifestyles, they may not notice any disruption in communication either.  

Hearing loss affects your communication

Hearing loss is the fact of not being able to hear sounds as clearly as you should. With different types of hearing loss, you may be able to carry on living a reasonably standard lifestyle despite your handicap. Indeed, in some cases, the brain compensates for the absence of sound stimuli, effectively adjusting to correct the sounds your ears couldn’t capture. Consequently, you may not notice you have hearing loss in a quiet environment. 

However, in a loud environment such as a busy office your brain may not be able to separate individual sounds. Without hearing aids, you can find it difficult to maintain a conversation or make a phone call. 

Depending on the degree of hearing loss you’re experiencing, your audiologist can recommend a variety of hearing aids to amplify the sounds and even speech therapies to learn to read lips. Additionally, assistive technologies can also provide support by transcribing speech into texts, which can ensure you can carry on phone conversations. 

Hearing loss affects your social interactions

Typically, uncorrected hearing loss can be an isolating experience. Indeed, hearing loss affects not only your communication skills, but it also drives isolation in social events. When you’re not confident about your hearing, you are less likely to reach out to friends and relatives. As our favorite communication channels are either face-to-face or via a phone call, your hearing health is an obstacle you can’t ignore. 

That’s precisely why an audiologist can help you to stay connected with your friends and relatives. 84% of the Americans who experience hearing loss between 20-69 don’t wear hearing aids, which contributes to their social isolation. 

Hearing loss and self-esteem

While hearing loss is when it doesn’t receive adequate correction, the emotional handicap can be just as damaging. For a lot of people, hearing loss is a stigma that differentiates them from the rest of the population. 

Some audiological conditions, such as tinnitus can present a mental drain. In its chronic form, tinnitus causes the perception of a sound – commonly a ringing or buzzing sound – that isn’t here. It affects your hearing ability and your mental health. 

Additionally, hearing loss conditions disrupt your everyday lifestyle, leading to self-esteem and depression issues when they are left untreated. 

Hearing loss can dramatically affect your life. However, with the help of our audiologists at the Audiology Clinics of Puerto Rico, you can find the help you need to correct your hearing loss and regain your communication skills. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our teams in Aguadilla at 787-882-8585 and Mayaguez at 787-834-0660 to find out more.