Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be alleviated simply by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is frequently ignored and untreated. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those with hearing loss.
And these feelings of depression and isolation can be enhanced by the breakdown of professional and personal relationships which frequently accompany hearing loss. The key to ending that downward spiral is treating your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and its link to depression
It’s true that untreated hearing loss is linked to developing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of people with untreated hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They also reported being less socially active. Many said that they felt like people were getting mad at them for no reason. However, people who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, colleagues, and friends – also said they noticed improvements.
Another study revealed that individuals between ages 18 and 70, reported an increased sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 Decibels. Increased depression wasn’t reported by individuals over 70 who had self-reported hearing loss. But that still means that a significant part of the population isn’t getting the help they require to improve their lives.
Lack of recognition or unwillingness to use hearing aids impacts mental health
With reported results like those, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to get your hearing loss treated. Maybe you believe your hearing is fine. You think that people are mumbling.
Another issue could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too costly or time consuming.
It’s imperative that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression, or the feeling that they are being left out of conversations because people seem to be talking too quietly or mumbling a lot, have their hearing tested. If there is hearing loss, we can talk about your options. It could help you feel a lot better.