Hearing is one of the most important senses in humans and other living beings, for that matter. While some are born without the ability, a staggering number of people lose hearing due to various reasons. Some of these include physical injury of the inner ear, illness, and genetics. In a larger portion of the people who suffer hearing loss, it occurs gradually. A significant number will also lose their hearing partially or to a certain degree where you have to really shout into their ears to hear what you are saying.
Whichever the case, hearing loss can have a substantial toll on the sufferer’s mental wellbeing. The good thing is that thanks to advancements in medical technology, various solutions are available for individuals coping with the condition. This piece will explore how hearing loss impacts mental health and some ways to deal with the situation.
Losing your ability to hear is never a walk in the park. Only the person in that situation can relate to it, and it can shake anyone down considerably. To most victims, however, the hearing loss is in itself not much of an issue. Adjusting to the affected quality of life is what makes it all daunting and frustrating. Some people may have pre-morbid mental health issues that spark up when they lose their ability to hear. The inability to discern messages and their meanings tend to bring shame, humiliation, and inadequacy.
Thoughts like “what will others think?” or “how stupid must I look?” are common, and the affected individual may plunge into despair, stress, and depression. If it is a long-term illness, then the individual’s mental health is threatened a great deal!
Medical Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are devices designed to enhance the audibility of sound to people with hearing loss. In other words, they amplify the received sound so the individual can capture and hear it better. They are available in a wide range of options from different manufacturing brands, some better than others. They also come in a wide range of technologies, styles, designs, and features, making it important to carefully choose your ideal hearing aid. Choosing the wrong model for your needs can either fail to assist you or actually make your situation worse. On this note, Widex hearing aids is a well-recognized brand that many deem beneficial. Thanks to the ZeroDelay technology they use, they are frequently praised for delivering clearer natural sound than many alternatives on the market. Many users also regard them as durable, easy to use, and easy to charge.
The effects mentioned above are more profound if the individual is an adult who has had a life with no hearing complications. They tend to feel awkward, abnormal, different, and inadequate. When the condition prevails, some are advised to have hearing aids to help with the condition. With negative emotions about the condition, many will conceal their hearing aids to avoid what they perceive as humiliation. Of course, they are not to blame for the condition, and it is hard to cope after, let’s say, thirty years of or proper hearing. The direction they take in coping with the condition is what makes it all hard. With a negative approach to the condition, they tend to put a risk to their mental health.
With hearing problems, the autonomy and self-sufficiency an individual once had are lost to a certain degree. The quality of life is reduced greatly. The jokes they could easily hear or the music they used to enjoy become only a memory. Self-pity and low self-confidence (especially in kids and teens) become detrimental to their mental well-being. When in a family outing, for instance, where everyone else is muttering words and laughing while you don’t know what is going on can be very saddening.
In this case, the person suffering from hearing loss may not have much to do, which leaves us who still have our ability to hear to take care of them. In such an event as above, for instance, you can have a sign-language helper around to make the person feel part of the family. If the person can still hear partially, there is no harm in speaking more audibly to ensure they are part of the conversation. This is if they don’t have their hearing aids in place.
Hearing loss has several effects on the mental well being of the affected people. These effects mainly come as a result of how they handle the condition. Coping with hearing loss involves an adjustment process. The loss of one basic sense requires one to learn how to achieve optimal functioning in their life regardless of the challenge. If they can manage to deal and function with the challenge, then the risk of mental health issues would be reduced.
People who have hearing loss need emotional and physical support from professionals, family, and friends. With hearing aids for those who haven’t lost their hearing ability completely; and sign language for those who can’t hear at all, it becomes easier to combat the associated mental health issues. If there is any chance that the condition could be reversed with little to no risk, it could be the best help they can ever get.