Hearing loss is a prevalent problem that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a greater occurrence of depression and feelings of isolation occurs when hearing loss is neglected and undiagnosed.
It can also result in a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of depression and isolation. Treating hearing loss is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Studies Link Hearing Loss to Depression
Researchers have found in several studies that neglected hearing loss is connected to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of people who suffer from untreated hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of anxiety and paranoia. And it was also more likely that those people would retreat from social engagement. Many couldn’t understand why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. Still, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – family, co-workers, and friends – also observed improvements.
Another study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a more acute feeling of depression if they had hearing loss of greater than 25 decibels. Individuals over 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss did not demonstrate a significant contrast in depression rates in comparison to individuals without hearing loss. But all other demographics have people who aren’t getting the help that they require for their hearing loss. And individuals who took part in a different study revealed that those participants who treated their hearing loss using hearing aids had a lower rate of depression.
Mental Health is Impacted by Resistance to Wearing Hearing Aids
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would want to get assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from seeking help. Some people think that their hearing is functioning just fine when it actually isn’t. They assume that others are intentionally speaking quietly or mumbling. Also, it’s relatively common for people to be clueless about their hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
If you are somebody who regularly feels like 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 your hearing specialist detects hearing problems, hearing aid options should be discussed. Consulting a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel much better.