What is the emotional impact of hearing loss and cochlear implantation on people?
Hearing loss can have a significant emotional impact on people, especially when it comes to communication and social interactions. The frustration and isolation that can come from hearing loss can lead to depression and anxiety. However, cochlear implantation can provide a solution to these challenges and improve a person's quality of life and mental health.
The Emotional Impact of Hearing Loss
The inability to communicate effectively with others can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can result in depression and anxiety. This can be especially challenging for older adults who may already be dealing with other physical and mental health issues. Hearing loss can also lead to frustration and anger, especially when trying to communicate with others who don't understand the challenges of hearing loss. This can result in a lack of confidence and self-esteem, which can further exacerbate negative feelings.
The Emotional Impact of Cochlear Implantation
Cochlear implantation can have a significant positive impact on a person's emotional wellbeing and overall mood. Providing a solution to many of the communication challenges associated with hearing loss, CI recipients are able to engage more effectively in conversations often leading to a reduction in feelings of isolation and loneliness.
However, it's important to note that not everyone experiences the same level of joy and satisfaction immediately after the implant is activated. For some, the challenge of adapting to the CI and the gradual acquisition of auditory skills can cause distress and disappointment.
CI recipients will have their own unique emotional response to switch on and during rehab. For example, those who experienced progressive hearing loss may not accept the time required to adjust to the CI and may be disappointed when their auditory progress does not occur as quickly as they had hoped. Recipients with usable residual hearing in one ear may feel that the hearing aid in their non-implanted ear continues to provide the dominant hearing information, while the implanted ear provides less usable information. Prelingually deaf recipients, who never experienced normal hearing, may struggle to acquire basic auditory skills and adjust to entirely new auditory stimulation.
It's important to remember that the time to adjust to your CI is personal. If you are experiencing emotional difficulties after swithc on, know that you are not alone. The beginning of the path may be difficult, but it doesn't necessarily imply the future, and there is no reason for despair. CI rehabilitation requires adjustment, flexibility, positive thinking, and faith in yourself and your CI team. If you feel overwhelmed, seek professional support from your CI team.