Self-esteem is important to people, because it usually impacts how we relate to others.
When there is an intrinsic or extrinsic factor that hampers someone’s self-confidence, it can cause him or her to shrink away from social contact. And they will prefer to remain isolated.
Hearing loss is one such factor that affects self-esteem.
Hearing loss in children is sometimes easier emotionally, because a child has a longer time to become used to the situation and parents can support their emotional development.
However, with adults, this can be catastrophic, emotionally. Adults can suffer from low self-esteem, later in life.
In some ways, they lose their independence and might have to rely on family members and friends for support, initially. Eventually, though, they can regain independence as they learn to communicate using sign language. As well as, they learn coping skills and possibly get a hearing aid.
Hearing Loss in the United States
In America, hearing loss is quite common.
Many adults, who are dealing with this situation, can wait many years before visiting a hearing loss professional. However, this is not a good practice.
Waiting can cause you to have problems communicating, when you could be learning essential skills that help. And seeking early treatment can reduce the progression towards complete loss of hearing. In addition, it can interfere with your moments of joy and happiness.
According to the Better Hearing Institute national survey, “more than 40,000 households utilizing the National Family Opinion panel, hearing loss was shown to negatively impact household income on-average up to $12,000 per year depending on the degree of hearing loss.
However, the use of hearing instruments was shown to mitigate the effects of hearing loss by 50%. For America’s 24 million hearing-impaired who do not use hearing instruments, the impact of untreated hearing loss is quantified to be in excess of $100 billion annually. At a 15% tax bracket, the cost to society could be well in excess of $18 billion due to unrealized taxes.”
How Hearing Loss Affects Self Esteem
One of the first direct emotional struggles of this condition is loneliness.
As with any issue that is not discussed and has time to ferment, there can be an unwanted and embarrassing explosion. This can happen in both adults and children.
So the best thing to do is to talk about the problem and get help immediately.
If not, if you are experiencing hearing loss, you can face depression, embarrassment, low self-esteem and increasing anger. It is akin to dealing with the symptoms of grief over your loss of hearing. Depression symptoms include fatigue, a general sense of feeling low and tired all the time.
But if you seek help, all of that can be treated.
Consequences of Hearing Loss
Not only do you lose some independence. But, if you leave your hearing loss untreated there are other effects as well.
If you used to be an ongoing person that is always extroverted and socially involved, hearing loss can deter that behavior. People who are suffering from loss of hearing struggle to hear and understand and keep up with what is being said.
So as not to draw attention to themselves, in a moment when they are feeling vulnerable, they clam up. They stop participating in conversations.
In children, it directly prevents them from developing their language skills. It is through listening to their family members that a child learns how to speak and communicate.
2. Social interaction
It is usually over some time that people lose their hearing. It is a gradual process.
At the start, you will barely notice that it is happening. However, eventually, people will keep repeating questions or ask, if you are fine. They might even misinterpret and think that you are ignoring them, when you are not.
Social situations simply get challenging.
You might notice that you stop hanging out with your coworkers after work. Or you start to lessen the amount of time you spend with family members, even in your household.
You will tend to choose isolation and start to feel lonely, even depressed.
Better Hearing Institute conducted a study, and they found some negative effects of hearing loss on income earning. They said, “Untreated hearing loss affects productivity, performance and career success, resulting in as much as a $30,000 loss in annual income.”
Once diligent career focused people experience hearing loss, their self-image is affected. They participate less in meetings. Their job performance is affected because they do not hear instructions clearly, they misinterpret what it is said and they can feel ashamed of asking for clarification.
If they conduct phone conferences, it puts them in an even direr situation. Because they are not their confident, risk taking selves anymore, it negates from their job potential.
4. Family relationships
Because of the increasing frustration that comes with hearing loss, your family relationships can be affected.
Adults, as well as children who have problems communicating get frustrated. So they will tend to withdraw from their parents or loved ones.
However, it can happen to the person who is not hearing-impaired. Trying to repeat the same thing and then not being understood can make you sad, annoyed and frustrated.
So, a romantic or parental relationship can be negatively affected.
Put an End to the Emotional Effects of Hearing Loss
People have been dealing with hearing loss for many generations. Therefore, there are reliable medical solutions in place to handle the matter. But you have to seek help.
A hearing loss professional will first conduct a test to assess the situation. This comprehensive test will help them to make a correct assessment and suggest a medical treatment.
In many cases, a hearing aid is the solution, in others it is surgery. However, hearing aid technology is far advanced and many of the recommended brands are invisible or hardly noticeable.
So now that you have a better understanding of how hearing loss affects self-esteem and how to improve your self-esteem visit a professional today and overcome the effects of hearing loss.