When you experience hearing loss, it can happen in a number of ways. It can also impact people of all ages, although it is especially common among older people.
You might lose your hearing suddenly. You might experience pain as well or have a blocked sensation in your ears. These are signs that your hearing loss is caused by an infection, illness, or earwax blockage and in many cases, is temporary.
Permanent hearing loss can also develop in different ways, but unless it’s caused by an injury, it’s normally a more gradual affair. This can make it harder for you to notice at the start, but it will eventually start to impact your life and, potentially, your mental health.
What to Do If You Suspect Hearing Loss
For many people, the first sign they have of hearing loss is that other people tell them. Your brain is very good at adjusting to poor hearing, so you might not notice. But if you’re finding it harder to keep up in conversations or if people have to repeat themselves, it’s a good idea to see a doctor.
A doctor can determine if there is a temporary cause of your hearing loss, like an illness or infection. If not, you may be referred to a hearing specialist.
When preparing for a hearing specialist visit, it’s a good idea to write down symptoms that you’ve experienced. Ask your loved ones for help with this, as the chances are that they’ve noticed more signs. It also helps to do your research so you’re informed before the visit.
Potential Mental Health Issues
Hearing loss has been linked to increased chances of depression and anxiety.
As a general rule, it’s harder to communicate with hearing loss, and this can make it easy to withdraw yourself from social occasions and conversations in general. This can lead to loneliness, which can in turn lead to depression.
Some people also get more anxious as they lose their hearing and they feel less safe in the wider world as they might not be able to hear potential dangers.
The first thing to realize is that mental health issues aren’t a sign of weakness, but they are a sign that you may need help.
What Can Help
First, knowledge is power. Look out for these issues, then you can either prevent them or deal with them when they occur. Talk to people you trust about any concerns and create a support structure.
Hearing aids can help you with the symptoms of hearing loss and make it easier to communicate with people around you. Speak to your hearing specialist about the best hearing aids for your circumstances. You might be surprised at the choices available to you.
In some cases, it can be beneficial to have medication to help with your mental health concerns. Therapy is also beneficial in many situations. Speak to a doctor or a mental health professional about what you’re going through and you’ll get the help you need.