Social Isolation & Hearing Loss Find Answers

Everything from casual interactions with strangers to your closest relationships with friends and family are likely to be affected by an inability to perceive sounds and hear voices in noise. Keep reading to learn more about the social isolation that often accompanies untreated hearing loss.

Schedule a free hearing screening today and begin your journey to better hearing.

What’s the Link Between Social Isolation and Hearing Loss?

Untreated hearing loss can put a strain on many aspects of your personal life. If you’re struggling to hear, your friends, family, coworkers and even strangers you meet during your day-to-day routine are likely to take notice. In fact, one study of adults under the age of 70 found that for every decibel drop in their hearing, a person’s odds of becoming severely lonely increased by 7%.¹

That’s more than just a statistic—it represents a discernible difference in the quality of life of real people who deserve the chance to enjoy rewarding relationships and an active lifestyle.

Most adults who have difficulty hearing are experiencing something called sensorineural hearing loss. Commonly related to aging and/or a history of loud noise exposure, some of the characteristics of sensorineural hearing loss include:

Sounds not only diminish in volume, but become distorted
The ability to hear high-pitched sounds is usually affected first
The ability to hear low-pitched sounds, such as vowel sounds, may be normal or relatively well-preserved

Such hearing loss will usually manifest in your social life in one of a few ways.

In-Person Conversations

Did your last conversation leave you feeling like you missed a punchline? Most conversations naturally involve a back and forth between the participants, with people sometimes cutting in or inadvertently speaking over one another.

But what may feel engaging or exciting to someone with regular hearing can feel chaotic and stressful to someone experiencing hearing loss, who is straining to perceive each word. Perhaps you frequently ask others to repeat themselves, or even attempt to read their lips. Such problems may be magnified even more when you’re conversating in a noisy environment, like a busy restaurant.

Phone & Video Calls

Do you dread when the phone rings? For those experiencing hearing loss, the stress of face-to-face conversations can lead to feelings of embarrassment and anxiety. This often causes people to isolate from others or stop attending previously cherished social activities. In lieu of in-person interactions, phone calls or video calls become a primary source of communication.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of hearing loss are often just as bad—or even worse—while using a phone. Difficulty distinguishing between words is one common complaint. Such challenges can lead to feeling frustrated with technology or compulsively adjusting the volume on your phone.


Have you stopped attending functions or events that you once loved? Hearing loss can disrupt your enjoyment of numerous activities, such as:

Movies or theater
Book readings
Academic lectures
Church services

Even if your lifestyle hasn’t undergone a major upheaval, you may be missing out on important moments and memories instead of experiencing your favorite things in life like you once did.

ear anatomy sculpture

How Can Hearing Aids Help?

Treating your hearing loss can give you the confidence in face-to-face communication that you once had. You can return to your favorite leisure activities and take phone or video calls with confidence.

For many people, hearing aids are the first step toward a fuller, more satisfying life.

Today’s hearing aids are available in a range of styles to suit a variety of lifestyles, ages and types of hearing loss. Click the link below to book a free appointment with a Beltone hearing care professional and begin your journey to better hearing.

More About Untreated Hearing Loss


Multiple major studies have found a connection between hearing loss and an increased risk for dementia. Consider the findings of a 12-year study by researchers at Johns Hopkins¹:

Mild hearing loss doubled an adult’s risk of dementia
Moderate hearing loss tripled the risk
Severe hearing impairment made adults five times more likely to develop dementia


The connection between depression and hearing loss should come as no surprise. When a formerly gregarious person is no longer able to socialize or participate in beloved activities, the mental toll can be significant and lasting. Learn how to recognize the signs of depression and how you can act in defense of your mental health.


Your sense of balance depends on the vestibular system in your inner ear. Research on falls has generally focused on visual, cognitive or motor impairments. However, growing evidence suggests that hearing loss may increase a person’s risk of falling and experiencing a serious injury.
two men sitting outside
two men sitting outside

Understanding Hearing Loss

Hearing loss—or hearing impairment—is a reduction in your ability to hear. It can happen gradually or relatively quickly. At Beltone, we want to help you understand hearing loss and find the right solution.

old couple on the beach
old couple on the beach

Types & Causes of Hearing Loss

Hearing impairment or hearing loss is a perceived reduction in your ability to hear. Your sense of hearing involves several parts of your body working together, and an issue at any point in the process can lead to a problem. Keep reading to learn more about the three types of hearing loss and the common causes.

man holding onto his ear
man holding onto his ear

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a common medical condition associated with hearing loss that is often experienced as ringing, hissing, buzzing or roaring in the ears. If you are experiencing these symptoms—intermittently or constantly—a Beltone hearing care professional can help you get relief.