Take care of your vision, hearing, and mental health

Friday, September 1, 2023

A younger male typing on a computer with headphones on.

Did you know that your vision and hearing can have an impact on your mental well-being? Having clear vision and hearing allows you to better connect with the world and the people around you.

Vision loss can make it harder for you to do the things you enjoy, doubles the risk of falls in adults 65 and older, and everyday activities like driving or cooking can become difficult, which can affect your mental health. While hearing loss may impact a person’s perception of the world, hearing loss can affect a person’s mode of communication, which can be very isolating and lead to feeling anxious or depressed.

Some ways you can make communication easier:

  1. Light it up. Avoid situations with poor lighting as it may be hard for people with low vision to decode facial expressions and can make it difficult to observe nonverbal cues for those with hearing loss.
  2. Listen with your eyes. Watch for visible speech movements, facial expressions, and body movements. Gauge where a person’s mouth is and aim to look just above this if you have low vision and cannot clearly see someone’s face.
  3. Be honest. Tell your family and friends about your hearing or vision loss. Tell others how best to engage with you and set realistic expectations. You can also ask for clarification and ask people to rephrase or slow down.
  4. Manage the crowd. Noisy areas can be difficult for those with affected hearing or vision. Someone with poor vision might rely on their sense of hearing to make up for the loss. Additionally, someone with hearing loss may not be able to discern what is being said. To best manage this, limit the number of people you speak with at a time and stay within 3 to 6 feet of the speaker.
  5. Lead the conversation. Initiate topics of conversation based on your choice and participate. Being aware of current events can also help with understanding the conversation.
  6. Keep a sense of humor. Stay positive and relax.

Taking steps to help you socialize when experiencing vision and hearing loss is important for your mental health. It’s important to talk to a doctor if you are dealing with symptoms of vision loss, hearing loss, depression, or anxiety.

If you suspect you may have hearing or vision loss, a hearing or vision exam may help detect even the smallest issue.

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Consult your Plan Benefit Profile if you are unsure if your plan has Vision Benefits. To find an EyeMed provider, visit EyeMed’s website and choose the Select Network option to begin your search.