Hearing loss is a prevalent affliction that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiscovered and untreated – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of solitude in those with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of isolation and depression. Treating hearing loss is the key to preventing this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Linked to Depression by Countless Studies
Symptoms of depression have been consistently linked, according to several studies, to hearing loss. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, as reported by one study, more likely to affect individuals over the age of 50 who have neglected hearing loss. And it was also more likely that those people would retreat from social engagement. Many stated that they felt as if people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, relationships were improved for those who wore hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
Another study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a greater feeling of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 decibels. The only group that didn’t document a higher incidence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But that still means that a large part of the population is not getting the help they require to better their lives. And individuals who participated in another study reported that those people who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower rate of depression.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Affects Mental Health
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would want to get help with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from seeking help. Some people assume that their hearing is functioning just fine when it actually isn’t. They assume that others are purposely talking quietly or mumbling. The other factor is that some people may not recognize that they have a hearing loss. To them, it seems like others get tired of talking to them.
If you are somebody who regularly thinks people are talking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing test. If there’s hearing loss, that person should discuss which hearing aid is best for them. Consulting a good hearing specialist may be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.