Hearing loss is a prevalent affliction that can be alleviated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiscovered and neglected – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of isolation in those with hearing loss.
It can also result in a strain in work and personal relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of depression and isolation. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Studies Link Hearing Loss to Depression
Researchers have found in several studies that neglected hearing loss is connected to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of people with untreated hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, and signs of paranoia or anxiety. 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 angry with them. However, relationships were improved for individuals who wore hearing aids, who reported that friends, family, and co-workers all noticed the difference.
Another study discovered that people between the ages of 18 and 70, revealed a greater feeling of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of greater than 25 decibels. Individuals over the age of 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss didn’t show a significant difference in depression rates in comparison to individuals without hearing loss. But all other demographics have 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 treated their hearing loss using hearing aids had a lower depression rate.
Mental Health is Impacted by Opposition to Wearing Hearing Aids
With documented benefits like those, you might think that people would wish to deal with their hearing loss. But people don’t seek out help for two main reasons. Some people believe that their hearing is functioning just fine when it really isn’t. They think that others are intentionally speaking quietly or mumbling. The other factor is that some people may not recognize that they have a hearing loss. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
If you are someone who frequently feels like 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 your hearing specialist finds hearing problems, hearing aid options should be discussed. You could possibly feel a lot better if you consult a hearing specialist.