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5 Reasons to Beware of Isolation

Untreated hearing loss puts people at risk in a variety of ways, and social isolation is one of the hazards. Those who suffer from gradual hearing loss often don’t realize how serious the problem has become. They begin to strain to achieve clear communication. The hard of hearing will begin looking for visual cues, to fill in for words they can’t discern. Carrying on simple conversations becomes a genuine struggle. Ultimately, withdrawal into a pattern of isolation is not uncommon.

What does social isolation look like?

Social isolation should not be confused with loneliness, though the two often go hand-in-hand. The best way to describe social isolation is that it is aloneness or solitude. Choosing isolation is different from withdrawing into a practice of aloneness due to the frustrations of hearing loss.

Reasons to Avoid Isolation

Emotional side-effects of hearing loss are normal and they include social rejection, withdrawal from social situations, avoidance, loneliness, depression, and negativism. These are obviously unhealthy situations. Isolation is in itself something to beware of, especially among the elderly, who tend to be more vulnerable than other age groups. The following are 5 good reasons to beware of becoming isolated due to hearing loss:

  1. Scientific studies show that there is a higher risk of mortality in adults age 52 and older if they are isolated. One possible reason is the lack of confidantes to help identify when prompt medical attention is needed.
  2. A 30-year study revealed that the loneliness associated with isolation is linked to accelerated cognitive decline. The researcher concluded that because we have become such a social species, isolation has negative neurological effects, including an increased risk for suffering from dementia.
  3. Social isolation makes the elderly more vulnerable to becoming victims of elder abuse. The risk of discovery of abuse is greatly decreased, which is one of the reasons for this outcome. For this reason and more, friends and family members should maintain contact with the elderly, even those who are pulling away into solitude due to loss of hearing.
  4. Homebound, isolated seniors often lack proper care. They are, therefore, more at risk for developing long-term illnesses such as depression, arthritis, impaired mobility, and chronic lung disease.
  5. Isolated seniors tend to predict an immediate worsening of the quality of life. This kind of pessimism is another of the side effects of being socially isolated. People with negative outlooks simply aren’t as happy as they could be with healthy social connections

One of many risks of hearing loss

Hearing loss is a more serious condition than people often realize. Social isolation is just many of the potential hazards of hearing loss. The best solution for the hard of hearing is to see an audiologist and get needed hearing aids