Here And Now

Hearing Loss and Loneliness

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Humans need social interaction and connections to thrive and survive, and the last year has been a particularly difficult one as interacting with others has been at a minimum due to lockdown restrictions.

Pre pandemic, loneliness affected 1 in 5 adults with hearing loss, and it is expected that this has risen due to COVID-19. Loneliness is linked to a wide range of health conditions. When a person is deprived of relationships with others, the sympathetic nervous system perceives a threat. The body responds to this by producing cortisol and adrenaline, however persistent exposure to cortisol can impact your health and increases the risks of heart disease, strokes, and diabetes due to increased heart rate and blood pressure. A constant state of loneliness can also result in an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and dementia.

Hearing loss is often a trigger for loneliness when it becomes difficult to communicate and maintain relationships with others in social situations due to reduced hearing. It can cause people to withdraw from conversations or avoid social situations altogether.

Social distancing measures have also had such a huge impact on interaction with the addition of face coverings. Speech becomes muffled and can be difficult to understand when wearing a face covering, and for those who have hearing loss, simple daily tasks such as shopping can be difficult adding to the feeling of isolation and loneliness.

Enhancing your hearing using hearing aids, can help improve many aspects of your life including social interaction. There are many modern hearing aids that now have in-built intelligence that can adjust to the social situation you are in to enhance your hearing, ensuring that you do not miss out on anything.

Starkey hearing aids are one of the only brands which monitor brain and body health alongside enhancing hearing. The Thrive app collects data based on how much you use your hearing aids, the environment you are in and how social you are. Increased interaction with others can help improve your brain score within the app and your overall mental health.

If you, or someone you know is struggling with hearing and mental health contact our audiologists today. We may be able to help with current hearing aids and alter settings, or get you set up with a new pair and enjoying life as we begin the next phase out of the pandemic.


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