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Though the vaccine has been available for a while now and most aspects of life have seemed to return to normal, two years of the global pandemic has taken its toll on many people. Shortly before the pandemic a Pew Research survey found that 10% of all Americans suffered from feelings of loneliness and social isolation. The pandemic obviously exacerbated that and it is now more common than ever before for people to struggle to balance exactly how social they need to be to feel adequately connected to others.
Most people occasionally prefer to be alone. At best it is relaxing and rejuvenating, and offers a chance for necessary reflection. But social isolation and loneliness are much different. And they are not synonymous. Social isolation is an objective fact: one lacks social contact. Loneliness is a subjective feeling: one feels isolated whether they have social contact or not.
Do you know how common hearing loss is? Almost 14% of all Americans aged 18 and over suffer from it and for a wide variety of reasons, many of them do not even know it. If you feel fatigued by socializing, frustrated by feelings of social isolation or loneliness, taking control of your hearing health can be a simple and crucial first step to overcome these unwanted feelings.
Healthy hearing grounds all your relationships: social, professional, familial, and romantic. When the fundamental needs of exchange and understanding are troubled or compromised, things quickly spiral and compound. More often than not, failure to treat hearing loss leads to social isolation and loneliness.
Left Untreated, The Consequences Spiral
When you work hard to understand those around you, same as any hard work, it gets fatiguing. One-on-one conversations become tiring repeatedly asking someone to talk slower or louder and repeat themselves. It can feel stilted and overly formal, disrupting the natural flow of conversation. This causes distance. And of course misunderstandings limit the depths at which you can connect, creating a sense of social isolation.
Socially isolated people frequently begin to avoid plans and people that they previously enjoyed. They cancel plans and feel relieved when plans are canceled. Even thinking about social interactions might create anxiety or dread.
Such self-imposed solitude, often subconscious, quickly transforms into feelings of confusion and distress. Social isolation becomes emotional isolation, the unwillingness or inability to express one’s feelings. Without proper emotional support this can lead to numbness and detachment from one’s own feelings.
Socially isolated people frequently suffer from depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. And these all have terrible health consequences such as sleeplessness, which harms the immune and cardiovascular systems and cognitive functioning. Awareness and simple action to guarantee that one’s hearing health is up to snuff can easily prevent such a mess.
Your Hearing Health is Essential to Your Overall Health
All these troubles can be prevented when you are aware of the symptoms of hearing loss and dedicated to seriously addressing hearing loss the moment it becomes detectable. The right hearing aids might be all it takes.
The benefits will be apparent immediately. You can effortlessly enjoy the company of your loved ones. Consider the degree to which humor depends on timing and how troubled hearing throws off the timing of every conversation. Your laughter will return.
Especially these days with so much communication still happening remotely, staying socially connected does not mean only face-to-face interactions. You’ll have improved confidence in both social situations and professional obligations. Phone calls and video-conferencing will be so much simpler.
Just like the risks of social isolation and loneliness compound easily, the positive consequences of remaining socially connected also improve your chosen alone time: The deep and simple emotion your favorite music brings you; The ability to participate more deeply in your faith communities. The benefits of improved relaxation compounds just as the risks do. Better connection to others brings better connections to yourself.
However you best find satisfaction by yourself, it all depends on your ability to relate simply to others. Don’t allow hearing loss to negatively impact one more day of your quality of life. Reach out today to make an appointment with one of our hearing specialists and feel the profound shift that comes with it.