Emotional effects of untreated hearing loss

  Posted March 6, 2019

The psychological effects of untreated hearing loss for both children and adults can include increased outbursts of anger, low self-confidence, frustration, embarrassment and depression. Adults may experience periods of sadness and grieving as their ability to hear diminishes. They also may feel more fatigued, as the struggle to hear and understand can be physically exhausting.

When left untreated, hearing loss can affect:

  • Communication – Adults with hearing loss have difficulty participating fully in conversations at work, home and in social situations. Children with hearing loss, especially those younger than six months, have difficulty learning important language skills that normal hearing children learn by listening to language spoken by family members.
  • Social interaction – Hearing loss progresses slowly and, over time, people who have it tend to begin withdrawing from social situations that prove too challenging.
  • Income – According to a study, untreated hearing loss affects productivity, performance and career success. When hardworking professionals feel the lack of confidence that can comes from not being able to contribute during meetings, hear clearly the important instructions from the boss or understand all that was said on a phone conference, it can lead to feelings of insecurity. These feelings can prevent you from realising your true potential on the job.
  • Family relationships – Children with hearing loss may have trouble articulating their feelings, which makes communication frustrating for family members. Adults may feel they aren’t being heard and become isolated and depressed. Family members who have loved ones with untreated hearing loss say they sometimes experience feelings of frustration, annoyance and sadness. All of these put a strain on family.

Hearing loss is a well-understood medical condition for which solutions have existed for years. Treating your hearing loss begins with a comprehensive test to determine how severe the loss is and what type. Unless you have the type of hearing loss that can be treated medically, hearing aids are often the best solution.

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