As we outlined in last month's blog, a person's hearing health can affect his or her overall health in a variety of ways. One of the more prominent effects, and most concerning to me, is depression. As individuals develop increasing difficulty with their hearing and speech understanding, it can become easier for them to skip social functions and interactions with others. They might feel embarrassed by not 'getting the joke' or having to constantly ask others to repeat. When people are constantly asked to repeat what they just said, they get frustrated and even angry, making the hard of hearing person feel that much worse.
People in this negative situation often withdraw and isolate themselves from others as much as possible. The onset of depression is quite likely now and the ability to recover can be much more of a challenge. With the resources and technology of today, this doe not have to be a reality. If you know anyone in this category, please reach out and encourage them to seek help. Together, we can avoid these situations and greatly improve quality of life. Next month we will discuss the connection between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Click here for prevention information.