Loss of hearing is easily one of the most common medical problems out there. There are some studies that suggest that there are about 48 million people who suffer from some kind of hearing loss. That is a very harrowing statistic and it is especially so because hearing loss often happens to be underrepresented in the official statistics. There are a lot of people out there who experience some kind of hearing loss but they do not report it. The reasons behind this can be several but more often than not, it is due to negligence on the part of the person affected.
How exactly does hearing loss affect children and adults?
Having some form of hearing loss does not automatically mean that the person affected will have a lower quality of life. This is especially true today with so many advancements being made in the field of hearing solutions. There is also a lot of support available for individuals who have some sort of hearing loss. However, while this is true, for a lot of people, hearing loss does equate to a loss on the levels of quality of life. Hearing loss can cause a lot of problems for the person affected and among some of the most well known effects include problems with the affected person’s personal and also professional relationships. It also has a tremendous effect on the emotional wellbeing of the person. The worst thing is that these effects have the potential to compound if the condition goes untreated for a long period of time until it is too severe.
The simple fact of the matter is that everyone who suffers from loss of hearing have their own coping mechanisms. Everyone who is involved in the treatment process of the affected person, such as family members, clinicians, specialists of hearing aids, all need to be aware of the enormous emotional toll hearing loss can have on a person. Two factors can greatly have an impact on some of those emotional effects. This includes how old the person is and also the quality of support that they receive.
Hearing loss and children
Owing to the fact that they are still in the process of developing their coping and social skills, hearing loss can be a huge emotional challenge for the children involved. It has the potential to lower the self-esteem of the child and hence, blunt the ability they have for expressing themselves. If it is not treated, even hearing loss that is mild has the potential to decrease the chances that a child will do well in school. It often creates the false impression that the child in question is not really trying or has problems with their attention.
This poor performance at schools only contributes to the low self-esteem of the child. We can also see an increase in the number of behavioral problems at both home and in school. This will happen due to the fact that the child is not hearing properly. The confidence that is lost by the child because of these things can really have a lasting negative effect on the child. In the long-term, it has the potential to cause depression, emotional issues, and also introversion of the unhealthy kind.
Hearing Loss and Adults
Let us try and not diminish the suffering that hearing loss causes to children. However, it is also true that in some instances, it is much more difficult for adults to have to deal with hearing loss than it is for children. Adults are nowhere near as adaptable or even receptive to acquiring and learning new skills when compared to their younger counterparts. While for children, their identity is still being constructed, for adults, they are already attached to their identity of being able to hear. In fact, loss of hearing is such a severe thing that a sudden onset of loss of hearing can make a person go through the same stages of grief as losing a loved one.
Adults who slowly lose their hearing and are not diagnosed, very often go through a slow change in their personality. One of the common things is isolation. They may fear or may be confused with regards to their inability to communicate as easily as they had once been able to do. Then there are a lot of things that can have a potentially huge impact on their emotions such as the fear of losing employment, relationships, and also standing in their respective society. Even when these people are diagnosed, a lot of the time they still feel overwhelmed and exposed as they have to wear a hearing aid device. It is not at all unusual for a person to get hearing loss and then turn from a confident and friendly person to one who is angry and isolated.
It is really important that the family members and the friends of the person affected with hearing loss be patient and also, they need to make sure that their loved one has ample time to adjust to such a major change in their lives. Clinicians may be able to help and offer advice on some particular support groups and also some professional counselling options that can help both the family and the individual.
The main point that we are trying to make is that it is important to seek treatment whenever it is possible. The hearing aids that we have today in the market are very discreet in their appearance and they have also technologically evolved to the point that the sound they provide is completely natural. It is important that the affected person realize that hearing aid devices can quite significantly improve their hearing and hence, their overall quality of life as well.