How to Cope With the Stresses of Hearing Loss
The ability to hear is paramount for most of us when it comes to communicating with others. Sounds also alert us to potential dangers, ensuring we can respond appropriately. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) affects one-third of people in the United States between 64 and 75 years of age. According to the NIH, this number increases to almost 50% for people 76 years of age or older.
Age is a common cause of hearing loss, but many other potential causes of hearing impairment can affect people of all ages. Exposure to toxins or loud noises can affect your hearing. Medications and illnesses, such as meningitis, can also damage your ability to hear. A permanent hearing impairment can affect your ability to communicate, work, or engage in regular activities. Fortunately, there are treatment options and practical strategies that can help you cope with hearing issues and the stress they cause. Read on to learn about best practices when it comes to taking care of your hearing health.
See an audiologist.
Audiologists are medical professionals who treat people with hearing and balance issues. These medical experts will perform hearing tests, evaluate your condition, and provide a diagnosis. Usually, your ear canal sends sound waves to your eardrum, which causes your eardrum and the bones in your middle ear to vibrate. Your cochlea then processes the vibrations and converts them to electric signals, which get transmitted to your brain. Hearing issues arise when any part of this process is impeded.
Once you’ve received a diagnosis, your audiologist will explain your treatment options. Your audiologist may prescribe high-tech hearing aids that can restore hearing. Your audiologist will discuss your lifestyle to ensure they recommend appropriate hearing aids suited to your personal needs. Then they will fit you for your new hearing aids and teach you how to use them. Although it can be discouraging to confirm you have a hearing impairment, being treated by an audiologist can help you prevent further hearing loss and access treatment options that will restore or compensate for your hearing issues. You would be surprised to learn how advanced hearing aids are these days—they may just be the best thing you’ve ever bought!
Modify your work environment.
A common sign of hearing issues is difficulty hearing in noisy environments. If you’re having difficulty filtering out background noise, you may be able to eliminate background noise by altering your workspace. For example, you may be able to move into an office instead of working in a cubicle, or you may opt for remote work.
Remote workers perform their tasks from a home office. Working remotely enables you to eliminate distractions and concentrate on your tasks. When you’re doing remote work, you access work online and log in to apps or sites that provide the resources and data you need to perform your duties. The best practices for creating a home office include choosing a suitable location in your home where you won’t be distracted and can take phone calls without interruptions. You may need shelves to hold resource materials. If your workspace has windows, you may also need curtains to eliminate glare from sunlight in your work area. You may also want to decorate your office to ensure you have a suitable background if your duties include video conference calls. In addition to a desk and computer, you may also need a microphone in your office space. You can also opt to use your smartphone to send and receive emails, place and receive phone calls, or join video conferencing meetings.
It can be frustrating to struggle at work, but eliminating background noise by altering your workplace environment may be able to ensure your career isn’t adversely affected by hearing issues.
Eliminate exposures that could damage your hearing.
Smoking tobacco cigarettes can damage your hearing. You can reduce the chances of developing hearing issues by eliminating exposure to the nicotine found in regular cigarettes. If you’re a smoker and have smoked for a long time, you may find it challenging to quit. Another option is to switch to CBD cigarettes. What are CBD cigarettes? These cigarettes are made from cannabidiol (CBD), which is a cannabinoid extracted from cannabis plants. CBD cigarettes are nicotine-free, which means you can continue smoking without exposing yourself to toxins that could cause hearing impairment.
You can also prevent further hearing loss by taking appropriate safety measures. Activities such as working with noisy machinery or going to the shooting range to fire weapons expose you to loud noises that could rupture your eardrum. Wear appropriate protective equipment to prevent damage when you’re engaging in loud activities. Taking steps to prevent further damage to your ability to hear can reduce the stress of hearing issues and keep you from worrying about retaining the hearing ability you still have.
Health issues can cause stress, but you can take care of your health by engaging in regular physical activity. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent muscle loss, which can cause older adults to have balance and mobility issues.
Physical activity can also promote a healthy sleep cycle, ensuring you get enough sleep at night. When you exercise, your core body temperature rises. Your body knows it should be awake when your body temperature is higher. After you stop exercising, within 90 minutes, your core body temperature falls. This tells your body it’s time to sleep.
Exercise also triggers your brain to release endorphins. Endorphins reduce pain and make you feel positive. Consequently, triggering endorphin production through exercise can help you combat stress and depression, which can help prevent you from suffering from mental health issues triggered by your hearing impairment.
Build and retain meaningful relationships.
Suffering a hearing impairment can trigger depression and feelings of isolation because it’s harder to communicate. Retaining and developing meaningful relationships can help prevent isolation and depression. You may be able to make new friendships by taking a course in sign language if you’re suffering from severe hearing loss. You can also consider joining a support group for people affected by hearing impairments. You may be able to develop effective coping strategies by interacting with people who’re dealing with the same challenges you’re experiencing.
You can also learn how to attract older women and continue dating, despite any hearing issues. Due to the prevalence of presbycusis, older women are also likely to suffer from hearing issues, which means they won’t be deterred from dating someone with similar issues. You can use dating apps to meet women.
Suffering from a hearing impairment can be stressful, but there are strategies you can use to reduce your stress and cope with your hearing challenges. Receiving a diagnosis and being treated by an audiologist can address your fears and concerns about your hearing, reducing your stress. Adjusting your work environment, eliminating harmful exposures, taking care of your health, and maintaining and building meaningful relationships can help you communicate effectively, prevent depression, and reduce stress from your hearing impairment.