Summer is finally in full swing! A typical July brings us firework shows, outdoor concerts, and great weather for camping or swimming. But with the pandemic forcing us to limit our activities, many of us will not experience a typical summer and instead will choose to continue social distancing ourselves as much as possible. However, those with hearing loss already experience a quiet, isolating world. Being cut off completely from social interactions is extremely detrimental to those with hearing difficulties, so it is important that they are being given every possible advantage.

Untreated hearing loss significantly diminishes the quality of life for the individual and increases their risk of depression, anxiety and paranoia. What goes unacknowledged is that hearing loss affects friends and family more than you realize! It has been revealed that approximately 74% of people change their behavior when around a friend or relative with hearing impairment. Studies show that treatment of hearing loss will improve not only one’s quality of life but their social relationships as well.

Below is a chart from Audiology.org that reflects the improvement made by having your hearing loss treated. It is clear that your hearing challenges affect your friends and family more than it does yourself, but it is also shown that they experience the benefits of treating your hearing loss more than you do!

Improvement Area Improvement Reported by Hearing Aid User (%) Improvement Reported by User’s Family (%)
Relationships at home 56 66
Feelings about self 50 60
Life overall 48 62
Relationships with children, grandchildren 40 52
Mental health 36 39
Self-confidence 39 46
Relationships at work 26 43

While social distancing is recommended right now, it is important to not isolate yourself completely when you experience hearing challenges. There are many ways to stay involved: phone calls, texting, and video chat seem to be the easiest methods right now. But without hearing aids, even these methods can be difficult to utilize. Take the first step toward improving your quality of life by prioritizing your hearing health. Schedule a hearing evaluation with your audiologist at least every 1-2 years and make sure you are scheduling regular maintenance appointments for your hearing aids! Social distancing might be mainstream right now, but that doesn’t mean you should get lost in the isolation caused by hearing difficulty.