We all experience loneliness from time to time. When feelings of loneliness are short lived, they’re a completely normal and natural emotion. They can even provide a valuable time of self-reflection. However, chronic or ongoing loneliness can have a lot of negative health outcomes, and may even shorten your life expectancy.
What’s the Link Between Loneliness and Health?
Chronic loneliness can affect you in profound ways. Humans aren’t meant to live in isolation. Everyone needs meaningful friendships and a sense of community. We need connections with others to feel fulfilled and happy. You may think feeling lonely isn’t a big deal, but if you are chronically lonely, you may face:
- Increased cortisol or stress hormone in your body
- Increased feeling of stress
- An elevated heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Greater risk of diabetes
- Higher risk of cancer
- Increased chance of dementia
- Weakened immune system
- Increased risk of an accident or fall
If you’ve been feeling lonely, your body and mind will suffer the negative consequences of this loneliness. One study published in 2015 even found that chronic loneliness increases your risk of an earlier death by 26%!
What Causes Loneliness?
There are a number of risk factors that can lead to loneliness. For example, living in a rural area, facing the death of a loved one, or moving to a new city can lead to feelings of loneliness. Getting a new job, retiring, or experiencing a major life change can all cause loneliness.
One of the main causes of loneliness is a lack of connection with others. When you don’t have a strong network of loved ones, you may find yourself socially isolated. This lack of social connection will lead to loneliness.
Hearing loss makes it hard to connect with others, and it can cause social isolation. This makes hearing loss a big risk factor that can cause loneliness.
Hearing Loss and Isolation
Hearing loss can really change your life. If you have untreated hearing loss, think back to what your life looked like a few years ago. How many activities did you stop because of your hearing loss? How many interests did you give up? Did you attend church regularly, but had to stop going because you couldn’t hear what was being said? Did you stop meeting friends for dinner because you couldn’t hear over all that noise?
People with hearing loss often stay home rather than facing the outside world. Their hearing loss makes it harder to connect with others, and they may choose to stay at home rather than struggle through challenging conversations in places with a lot of background noise. Instead of developing the relationships that will keep them happy and healthy, they feel trapped at home.
Living with untreated hearing loss can often cause social isolation and feelings of loneliness in people of all ages.
Does Hearing Loss Cause Loneliness?
If you’ve noticed some changes in your hearing health, you know that hearing loss makes it difficult to communicate. It’s harder to maintain your current friendships, and it can seem almost impossible to make new friends. You worry you may seem rude or unfriendly when you can’t hear what’s being said. You’ve been asking people to repeat themselves, but it’s hard not to get frustrated when you just can’t hear as well as you used to.
People with hearing loss struggle to communicate and maintain connections with their friends and family. Hearing loss can drive a wedge between you and your loved ones, and you’ll feel less connected to the people around you. Hearing loss can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness.
Treating Hearing Loss Can Lessen Loneliness
You don’t have to live with loneliness! When you treat your hearing loss, you can hear clearly during conversations. You’ll love going to social gathering and reconnecting with your friends. When you can follow conversations, you’ll be able to share all those special moments that make life worth living. You’ll even be able to hear conversations in places with background noise! You can get your social life back with a great pair of hearing aids.
It’s time to treat your hearing loss and experience life with better hearing. Say goodbye to loneliness, and hello to clear hearing and communication! Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation.