Who doesn’t like sunny, summer weather? Summer is a time to get outside and enjoy the warmer days with friends and family. But, for people with untreated hearing loss summer may be just another lonely season. Untreated hearing loss is a factor for causing feelings of loneliness and even social isolation. Good hearing health is important for communication and good communication helps us stay connected to family and friends, warding off loneliness.

When communication becomes more difficult the following can happen:

  • Frustration builds for the person with hearing loss and their closest friends and family members
  • Fatigue happens because the brain and auditory system have to work harder to capture and make sense of sounds

As frustration and fatigue take their toll, many people with untreated hearing loss become more disconnected and even withdraw from their normal social activities which can lead to feelings of loneliness. In some cases, people even socially isolate themselves from others.

According to the National Institute on Aging , loneliness and social isolation have been linked to increased risks for high blood pressure, heart disease, depression and even cognitive decline. Maintaining good hearing health as we age is one way we can combat loneliness.

Here are three ideas that can help you maintain and monitor your hearing health:

  • Contact your hearing health care provider and schedule a hearing test even if you don’t yet suspect a problem. This initial test can establish your hearing baseline. From there your hearing health care provider can advise you on next steps and the frequency of routine check ups
  • Inventory your day to day activities and work. Where are you most exposed to noise? Adding hearing protection when necessary is a simple way to protect your hearing
  • Turn down the volume. In today’s world headphones and earbuds are everyday technology. Employ safe listening habits by turning the volume down and taking regular listening breaks

Stay active this summer and the summers to come, make good hearing health a priority.