Hearing Aids can help reduce the negative effects of the common condition of hearing loss. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and neglected – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of isolation in people with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in work and personal relationships, which itself contributes 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 Many Studies
Researchers have found in several studies that untreated hearing loss is connected to the development of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of individuals with neglected hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, along with signs of anxiety and paranoia. And it was also more likely that that group would retreat from social involvement. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting mad at them. Still, those who used hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also saw improvements.
A different study discovered that people between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of greater than 25 decibels. Individuals over 70 with a self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a significant contrast in depression rates compared to people who didn’t suffer from hearing loss. But that still means that a significant part of the population is not getting the assistance they require to better their lives. Another study found that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those subjects who had hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
Lack of Awareness or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Affects Mental Health
With reported benefits like those, you might imagine that people would wish to manage their hearing loss. But people don’t seek out help for two principal reasons. 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 talking 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 essential that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the feeling that they are being excluded from interactions because they are speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing checked. If there’s hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is best for them. You could possibly feel a lot better if you consult a hearing specialist.