“Loneliness” And Hearing Aids

A recent study by researchers Barbara E. Weinstein, Lynn W. Sirow and Sarah Moser, related Hearing Aid use to social and emotional loneliness in older adults.

Well, we are social beings. Very few people find real happiness in isolation. Speaking and understanding each other provides us with the psychological resources important for coping with adversity (Cohen, 2004).
So do you perhaps feel that you are not engaging with the world? That there might be a deficiency in fulfilling your social role? Then you may be experiencing loneliness.

Loneliness is the psychological embodiment of social isolation (Steptoe et al., 2013).
According to the researchers, social isolation and loneliness are a threat to physical activity levels and a risk factor for physical and mental health problems. They compared a number of people with confirmed hearing loss who did not use hearing aids, with a number who did.

Interesting results!

It is notable that the proportion of participants who were lonely after hearing aid use shifted dramatically, such that following hearing aid use, 28% of participants were lonely, as compared with 45% prior to hearing aid use. In a similar manner, 55% of participants were not lonely prior to hearing aid use, with the proportion rising dramatically to 73% following 4 to 6 weeks of hearing aid use. They reasoned that hearing aids most likely improve mood and increase social interaction and participation in communication exchanges, thereby mediating “loneliness.”

[Reference: AJA Research Article – Relating Hearing Aid Use to Social and Emotional Loneliness in Older Adults Barbara E. Weinstein,a Lynn W. Sirow,b and Sarah Moser. American Journal of Audiology • Vol. 25 • 54–61 • March 2016 •
Cohen, S. (2004). Social relationships and health. American Psychologist, 59, 676–684.
Steptoe, A., Shankar, A., Demakatos, P., & Wardle, J. (2013). Social isolation, loneliness, and all-cause mortality in older men and women. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110, 5797–5801. ]