Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be alleviated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in people with hearing loss.
It can also result in a breakdown in work and personal relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of depression and isolation. This is a difficulty that doesn’t need to take place, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Hearing Loss Has Been Linked to Depression by Numerous Studies
Researchers have found in numerous studies that untreated hearing loss is connected to the advancement of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of people with untreated hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. And it was also more likely that those people would retreat from social engagement. Many said that they felt as if people were getting angry at them for no reason. However, those who wore hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also noticed improvements.
Another study discovered that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they had hearing loss of greater than 25 dB. Individuals over 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss didn’t show a significant contrast in depression rates in comparison to people who didn’t suffer from hearing loss. But that still indicates that a significant part of the population is not getting the help they require to improve their lives. A different study revealed that hearing aid users had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who suffered from hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Affected by Resistance to Using Hearing Aids
With reported outcomes like those, you might think that people would wish to deal with their hearing loss. But people don’t find help for two main reasons. First, some people simply don’t think their hearing is that bad. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are speaking softly on purpose. Also, it’s fairly common for people to have no clue they have a hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like talking with them.
It’s essential that anybody who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the sense that they are being left out of interactions because they are speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing checked. If your hearing specialist discovers hearing problems, hearing aid solutions should be talked about. Seeing a good hearing specialist may be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.