Risks of Social Isolation and Hearing Loss

Social gatherings and family get-togethers peak during the holiday season. But for those with hearing loss, listening to a conversation takes so much effort that they’d rather just stay home. Untreated hearing loss has serious emotional and social consequences for older persons, according to multiple studies on the topic. Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults (Collins, 1997). Even when subjects don’t describe their isolation as lonely it still affects their health and mortality to the same magnitude as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking. (Singer, 2018) Those with untreated hearing loss show mental decline 30-40% faster than those with normal hearing. (Lin et.al. 2011) However, studies have shown once hearing loss is treated, patients no longer show that same decline. (Mulrow et al., 1990) Anyone over the age of 55 should have their