It’s May, which means it’s Better Hearing and Speech Month (BHSM). BHSM is a time when the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) joins forces with the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to raise awareness about hearing and speech disorders.
This year’s theme is “Connecting People.” Having strong relationships is important for everyone, but it’s particularly crucial for people with hearing loss. Evidence shows that for every decibel drop in hearing perception in people under 70, the odds of becoming severely lonely increase by 7%.
Loneliness Is Harmful to Your Health
Hearing loss can make it harder to communicate. Feelings of frustration may arise while trying to hold a conversation, leading many hard-of-hearing individuals to self-isolate and experience loneliness.
While loneliness may seem like no big deal, it can significantly impact your physical and mental health. Research has found that loneliness and isolation are as bad for you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness can also increase your risk of premature death, dementia and depression.
Hearing Well Is Your Key to Connection
Maintaining your relationships enhances your overall wellbeing—and hearing your best is crucial for connecting with others. That’s why being proactive can help you identify and deal with hearing loss sooner rather than later, which will help strengthen your social ties.
In one study of hearing device users, 85% said their hearing aids improved communication in small groups—and more than half reported that wearing hearing devices enhanced their relationships and social life.
Don’t let hearing loss cut you off from loved ones. Call S. E. Wisconsin Hearing Center, Inc., at 262-884-HEAR today to schedule an appointment.