We’re deep into holiday season, and it’s a busy time. It’s also important to take a moment to think about your health and well-being. Sure, for many people the holidays are an exciting time to catch up with loved ones. But, we must also remember that for some, the holidays can be a tough time.
We don’t mean to bring you down, but the holiday blues are a thing to consider. Mental health professionals point to the fact that there is an increase in depression during the holiday season, especially for people who are lonely, have negative associations from the past with the holidays, or have financial difficulties. While it’s not necessarily an issue for us here in Arizona, many parts of the country get darker earlier during the winter, so that adds another layer to the holiday blues – a seasonal depression.
When it comes to hearing health, our specialty here at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, we want to make sure that you understand the wide-reaching benefits of treating hearing loss. One major benefit is your emotional well-being – both during the holidays and year-round.
A series of studies from Finland have indicated that people who treat hearing loss experience a more expansive “life space.” This means they have the confidence to move freely further from home base, giving them more opportunities to participate in activities they enjoy and to socialize with friends and members of the community. Meanwhile, people with untreated hearing loss have a much smaller life space. Due to difficulties with communication, people tend to stick closer to home or do not leave as often.
Another element of hearing loss has to do with your safety and security. By treating hearing loss, you are more aware of the sounds in your environment and the alerts and alarms that keep you out of harm’s way. Driving is also safer if you treat your hearing loss, allowing you to move more freely. If you commute by public transportation, hearing aids also help you get around with ease.
Communication is the bedrock of strong relationships, and that’s especially apparent during the holiday season. With hearing loss, people experience difficulties with communication due to speech recognition issues. Many people with hearing loss make the same complaint: they can hear, but they can’t understand. Hearing loss interferes with our ability to anticipate speech patterns and to differentiate between words or sounds that are similar, which could lead to misunderstandings and frustrations.
By treating hearing loss, we’re making a concerted investment in maintaining healthy channels of communication with our loved ones. Hearing aids, commonly used to treat hearing loss, are equipped with features that help you focus on speakers’ voices, reduce background noise that might interfere with conversations, and help you experience speech sounds with clarity.
Studies have found that people with untreated hearing loss tend to isolate themselves socially, because it is difficult to keep up with conversation. According to Dr. Sergei Kochkin of the Better Hearing Institute, “The holiday season is meant to be a time of thanks, celebration and joy. But for many people, it is a time of year when unaddressed hearing loss can cause them to feel particularly isolated and depressed. Even when surrounded by loved ones, a family member’s impaired ability to hear and actively participate in conversation cuts them off. Oftentimes, they are left with a sense of sadness, inadequacy, and emotional isolation. This is especially true when the hearing loss is either unrecognized or is being ‘hidden’ by the family member with hearing loss.”
If you personally experience a hearing loss and have yet to treat it, now’s the time. There’s no reason to live with untreated hearing loss. A hearing test is simple and painless, and our team at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids will support you through the process of finding the right treatment to meet your needs.
If you believe a loved one is experiencing hearing loss, use this holiday season to gently encourage them to seek treatment with us at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids. Offer your support and love, and remind them that by treating hearing loss, they’ll be able to reconnect with the loved ones in their life.
From our team at Arizona Balance and Hearing Aids, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season.