Hearing Loss, Social Isolation, Loneliness and the Ability to Communicate

Untreated hearing loss can affect the ability to communicate with family, friends and others, engage in social or group activities, live independently, feel self-confident, hear the doorbell or phone ring, play card/board games, and/or play sports.  Thus, multiple articles and studies emphasize that hearing loss can cause or contribute to social isolation and/or loneliness.

However, a 2014 published study reported only finding a correlation between  hearing loss and social isolation in women aged 60 to 69.

The following studies found that hearing treatment can reduce social isolation and/or loneliness and/or improve social communication.

In August 2017, when commenting on the Over-The-Counter Hearing Aid Act, James Battey, Director of NIDCD, stated that “With the help of effective hearing devices, people with hearing loss can again enjoy socializing with family and friends, and they will be less likely to miss important instructions from health providers or safety officials”.