Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and neglected – and that can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in people with hearing loss.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where isolation and depression from hearing loss bring about a breakdown in personal and work relationship causing even worse depression and isolation. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to preventing this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Linked to Depression by Numerous Studies
Researchers have discovered in numerous studies that untreated hearing loss is linked to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of individuals with 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. They were also more likely to refrain from social activities. Many said that they felt like people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, those who wore hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also observed improvements.
Another study found that people between the ages of 18 and 70, revealed a greater sense 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 people 70 years old or older. But all other demographics contain people who aren’t receiving the help that they require for their hearing loss. And individuals who took part in another study revealed that those participants who managed their hearing loss using hearing aids had a lower rate of depression.
Mental Health is Impacted by Resistance to Using Hearing Aids
It seems apparent that with these kinds of outcomes people would want to get assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from getting help. One is that some simply don’t recognize that their hearing is that impaired. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are speaking quietly on purpose. The second factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing impairment. To them, it seems as if other people don’t want to talk to them.
If you are somebody who regularly feels like people are speaking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing exam. If your hearing specialist finds hearing problems, hearing aid solutions should be discussed. Seeing a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.