Hearing loss is a common problem that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a higher occurrence of depression and feelings of solitude happens when hearing loss goes untreated and undiagnosed.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where isolation and depression from hearing loss bring about a breakdown in personal and work relationship leading to even worse depression and isolation. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to preventing this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Countless Studies
Researchers have discovered in numerous studies that neglected hearing loss is connected to the development of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, based upon one study, more likely to impact individuals over the age of 50 who struggle with untreated hearing loss. They were also more likely to stay away from social experiences. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. However, those who got hearing aids noted improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also saw improvements.
Another study discovered that people between the ages of 18 and 70, revealed a more acute sense of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of more than 25 dB. The only group that didn’t report an increased incidence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But all other demographics contain individuals who aren’t receiving the help that they require for their hearing loss. A different study found that hearing aid users had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those subjects who had hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
With documented outcomes like those, you might think that people would wish to deal with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from seeking help. Some people think that their hearing is functioning just fine when it actually isn’t. They think that others are intentionally speaking quietly or mumbling. The other factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing impairment. To them, it seems like other people get tired of talking to them.
If you are someone who regularly feels like people are speaking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing test. If there is hearing loss, that person should talk about which hearing aid is right for them. Seeing a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel much better.