Hearing loss is a common affliction that can be alleviated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a greater incident of depression and feelings of isolation happens when hearing loss is neglected and undiscovered.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and work relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of isolation and depression. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Studies Link Depression to Hearing Loss
Symptoms of depression have been consistently linked, according to countless studies, to hearing loss. One study of people who suffer from 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 withdraw from social involvement. Many said that they felt like people were getting angry at them for no reason. However, relationships were enhanced for individuals who got hearing aids, who stated that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
A different study found that people between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a more acute feeling of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 dB. The only group that didn’t record a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But that still indicates that a large part of the population is not getting the assistance they require to improve their lives. And people who participated in another study reported that those people who managed their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower rate of depression.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Wear Hearing Aids Affects Mental Health
With documented outcomes like those, you would imagine that people would wish to manage their hearing loss. But people don’t seek out 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 quietly on purpose. The other factor is that some people may not recognize that they have a hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like talking with them.
It’s imperative that anyone who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the sense that they are being excluded from interactions due to people talking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing tested. If your hearing specialist detects hearing problems, hearing aid options should be talked about. You could possibly feel a lot better if you go to see a hearing specialist.