There is a strong link between mental health and hearing loss according to new studies.
Besides this connection, both conditions have something else in common – health professionals and patients frequently fail to acknowledge and treat them. For millions of people who are looking for solutions to mental health issues, identifying this relationship could bring potential improvements.
We understand that hearing loss is widespread, but only a few studies have dealt with its effect on mental health.
Out of all people who are diagnosed with hearing loss, research shows that over 11 percent of them also have clinical depression. Depression was only reported by 5 percent of the general population so this finding is noteworthy. Standard questionnaires were based on self-reporting of hearing loss and evaluated depression based on the frequency and severity of symptoms. They discovered depression was most prevalent in individuals between the ages of 18 and 69. Dr. Chuan-Ming Li, a researcher at NICDC and the author of this study, discovered “a substantial connection between severe depression and hearing loss”.
Your Risk of Depression Doubles With Neglected Hearing Loss
Age related hearing loss is quite common in older individuals and, according to a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the risk of depression increases the worse the hearing loss is. After audiometric hearing testing, participants took an evaluation for depression. This research also reported that the chance of depression almost doubles in people with even slight hearing loss. Even more startling, mild hearing loss frequently goes undiagnosed and untreated by many individuals over 70 which has also been shown to raise the danger of cognitive decline and dementia. Clearly, there’s a link between the two even though a direct cause and effect relationship hasn’t yet been demonstrated.
In order to communicate efficiently and stay active, hearing is essential. Anxiety, embarrassment, and potential loss of self-confidence can be the consequence of the social and professional blunders that come with hearing loss. Progressive withdrawal can be the result if these feelings are left unaddressed. Individuals withdraw from friends and family as well as from physical activity. This seclusion, over time, can lead to depression and loneliness.
Hearing Isn’t Simply About Your Ears
Hearing loss is about more than the ears as is underscored by its association with depression. Your brain, your quality of life, healthy aging, and overall health are all affected by your hearing. This emphasizes the crucial role of the hearing care professional within the scope of overall healthcare. Confusion, frustration, and exhaustion are frequently an issue for people who suffer from hearing loss.
The good news: Getting professional care and testing at the earliest sign of a hearing issue helps prevent this issue. These risks are significantly decreased, according to research, with early treatment. Routine hearing tests need to be encouraged by doctors. After all, hearing loss isn’t the only thing a hearing test can diagnose. And with people who may be coping with hearing loss, care providers need to look for indications of depression. Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, impatience, and general loss of interest and unhappiness are all symptoms.
Don’t suffer alone. Give us a call to schedule an appointment if you believe you might have hearing loss.