Better Hearing & Better Relationships
Hearing loss is a common health condition that more and more Americans are dealing with today. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss. People of any age can experience hearing loss, including children and teens. Impaired hearing can impact all aspects of a person’s life including personal and professional relationships. There are many ways this can happen; before we delve into a few major ways, it is important to know is that there is useful treatment for hearing loss, which can drastically improve your relationships and enhance your life.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be caused by several contributing factors that anyone can experience. This includes:
Medical Conditions: impaired hearing has been linked to various medical conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, viral infections, and stroke. Additionally, any damage to parts of the ear caused by wax buildup, injuries to the bones in the ear, infections, scaring, etc.
Family History: some types of hearing loss can be hereditary. People can inherit mutated genes that are connected to hearing loss.
Environmental: consistent exposure to loud noise can significantly damage hearing. Operating or being near large machines, always playing music and/or podcasts at a high volume, frequently attending loud events (concerts, sporting games) etc.
These factors can reduce hearing ability and cause people to experience a range of symptoms that make your day to day life challenging.
There are numerous symptoms of hearing loss. If you have experienced or recognize any of the following, it is very important to get your hearing examined:
Noises and sounds are muffled
Difficulty hearing distinct words
Hearing better in one ear versus the other
Struggling to follow conversations
Reading mouths to make out the words being said
Increasing volume on T.V., phone, speaker etc.
Asking other people to speak loudly or repeat themselves
Tinnitus, which is the sense of noise or ringing in your ear
These symptoms cause people to work overtime to hear which can cause fatigue. Experiencing exhaustion after social interaction can make lead to people feeling stressed, frustrated, and wanting to withdrawal from engaging. This can limit the activities you participate in, the amount of time you spend with other people, and avoiding places that are too loud. This kind of isolation and general unhappiness can cause your relationships to suffer.
By treating your hearing impairment, you can significantly improve your relationships by:
Better Overall Health: improving your hearing often leads to better emotional health. Feeling better allows you to show up and move through your day more positively and with greater presence. You can participate in social activities, conversations, and navigate environments with greater ease. This can lead you to spend more quality time with others.
Enhanced Communication: hearing more clearly will allow you to understand and respond effectively. Being able to hear better prevents you from having to do all of the extra work to follow conversations. This means having more energy to have conversations in addition to less stressful and frustrating interactions with others.
Greater Independence: with increased ability to hear, you will not have to rely on other people to speak loudly or repeat themselves. Maybe you will not need to keep increasing the volume on your devices or avoid conversations with multiple people. This independence can boost your confidence!
Increased ability to hear improves your communication causing you to feel happier and more independent. This allows you to engage in your relationships more healthily.
Impairment to hearing often happens slowly over time. Because changes to hearing can be gradual, people can overlook or miss that their hearing ability is declining. This is why it is so important that you get your hearing checked. A hearing test is conducted with a hearing healthcare professional and examines the quietest sound (and at what frequency and pitch) you can hear in both ears.
Fortunately, there are effective ways hearing loss is treated. The most common treating is hearing aids. Today, there are vast offerings of hearing aids, which can be customized to meet your specific hearing needs. Hearing aids are extremely useful devices that improve your hearing!