How Does Hearing Loss Impact Quality of Life?

a man with hearing loss in an ear exam

Coping with hearing loss requires making adjustments that make everyday life a bit more complicated. Here are some alarming facts about the condition:

  • About 466 million people experience hearing loss
  • About one billion young people exposed to loud noises risk experiencing hearing loss
  • 60% of cases of hearing loss in children are preventable
  • People experiencing hearing loss are at a disadvantage socially, physically, financially and in many other aspects.

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 460 million people worldwide experience hearing loss. These people live their lives without one of the human body’s most important senses. Here is an overview of how it affects their overall quality of life.

Increased physical risks

People with hearing loss cannot hear warning sounds, which puts them at an increased risk of physical harm. For example, they cannot hear gunshots immediately and their late reaction times can mean the difference between life and death. Hearing is also crucial for the body’s overall balance, and hearing loss increases the person’s risk of falling and injuring themselves.

Social isolation

Talking is one of the primary forms of human interaction. People talk to exchange information, but mostly to relate with other people. People with hearing loss have their means of communication, too, but the majority of people who can hear don’t know it.

To this end, it is complicated for people with hearing loss to communicate with the majority of people around them. Many of them prefer keeping to themselves instead of getting misunderstood or viewed as a bother. What’s more, people who can hear don’t know how to interact with people experiencing hearing loss.

This considerably limits social interactions for people with hearing loss. They have few friends, and many cannot sustain long-term physical relationships.

Mental vulnerability

Human beings are social creatures. To this end, social isolation is considered one of the cruelest forms of punishment, as it can diminish a person’s mental faculties. People with hearing loss are not entirely cut out from society, but the feeling of being left out of mainstream society affects them nonetheless. To this end, hearing loss is associated with a range of mental issues, including:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Unresolved anger and irritability
  • Pessimism

Experts also speculate that hearing loss may be linked to cognitive decline among the elderly. To this end, hearing loss can cause dementia over time.  

Diminished career prospects

Hearing loss can diminish an employee’s productivity at the workplace. For example, clear communication is one of the necessities of a productive working environment, but it is a complicated issue for people experiencing hearing loss. Therefore, many employers consider the condition a disadvantage. As such, people experiencing hearing loss have a difficult time getting employed, and they tend to get paid less than their colleagues.

Hearing loss is treatable

Fortunately, hearing loss is easily treatable – depending on the condition’s type and severity. As such, it is advisable to consult a hearing healthcare professional when you experience hearing loss symptoms. The specialist will diagnose your condition and offer the best solution to enable hearing and improve your overall quality of life.