One of the lesser-considered side effects of hearing loss is the link between feelings of isolation and loneliness – and as we age these feelings can become heightened. There is however, a lot we can do to help ourselves and others around us avoid feeling isolated or lonely as a result of hearing loss.
What are the links between hearing loss and loneliness?
Before we look at the ways we can avoid these feelings, it is important that we understand the link between hearing loss and loneliness a little better.
Hearing loss can have a significant impact on the way we communicate with others, making conversations harder to follow and be a part of. Because of this, those with hearing loss may find themselves withdrawing from these social situations and over time remove themselves completely. Not only can this prolonged withdrawal lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, but in more severe cases this can be associated with depression, higher levels of anxiety or other mental health problems.
Many studies have been carried out on this topic, and a majority have come to the same conclusion: hearing loss can affect how we feel, and those with more severe, untreated losses are more likely to experience feeling isolated or lonely.
So what can be done to combat this?