Hearing Aids can help minimize the negative effects of the common condition of hearing loss. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of solitude in those with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of depression and isolation. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to ending this unnecessary cycle.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Symptoms of depression have been continuously linked, according to numerous studies, to hearing loss. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia were, according to one study, more likely to impact individuals over 50 who have untreated hearing loss. And it was also more likely that that group would retreat from social involvement. Many couldn’t understand why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. However, those who wore hearing aids noted improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – friends, co-workers, and family – also noticed improvements.
A more profound sense of depression is encountered, as reported by a different study, by people who suffered from a 25 decibel or more hearing impairment. People over 70 with a self-reported hearing loss did not demonstrate a major difference in depression rates compared to individuals 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. And people who took part in another study revealed that those participants who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower depression rate.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
It would seem obvious that with these kinds of results people would wish to seek out assistance with their hearing loss. But people don’t get help for two principal 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 talking quietly on purpose. Also, it’s fairly common for people to have no clue they have a hearing problem. It seems, to them, that people don’t like talking with them.
If you are someone who regularly thinks people are talking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing exam. If there is hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is best for them. Consulting a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.