August: Hearing Health + Mental Health
By: Dr. Rebecca Mooney, Au.D.
Evidence shows decline in hearing is associated with greater social and emotional loneliness among older adults (Pronk et al., 2014).
We humans are, by nature, social beings. The presence of hearing loss impacts our ability to communicate. It puts strain on relationships and leads to social isolation. This isolation can increase the likelihood of developing depression. In addition, we subconsciously use our sense of hearing to monitor the world around us….Is it raining outside? Is the wind blowing? Did an emergency vehicle go by? Is the smoke detector beeping? Is the furnace making a funny noise? Then there is the “incidental learning” which happens by “overhearing” conversations…. Did I overhear someone say so-and-so is going on vacation? What was that I heard about the road being closed? Better hearing keeps us connected with the people we love and with the world around us. Using hearing aids to help reduce the burden of hearing loss can help reduce potential negative impacts of the hearing loss on our daily lives (Cosh et al., 2018).