Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and neglected – and that can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those who suffer from hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and work relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of depression and isolation. This is a problem that doesn’t have to happen, and managing your hearing loss is the best way to end the downward spiral.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Numerous Studies
Researchers have found in several studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia were, according to one study, more likely to impact people over 50 who struggle with untreated hearing loss. They were also more likely to stay away from social activities. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. Still, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – family, co-workers, and friends – also noticed improvements.
Another study discovered that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a more acute sense of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of more than 25 decibels. People over the age of 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss did not demonstrate a major difference in depression rates compared to people without hearing loss. But that still indicates that a large part of the population is not getting the assistance they need to better their lives. Another study revealed that hearing aid users had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those subjects who had hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
It would seem obvious that with these kinds of outcomes people would want to get assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from finding help. Some people think that their hearing is working just fine when it really isn’t. They assume that people are deliberately talking quietly or mumbling. The second factor is that some people may not recognize that they have a hearing impairment. To them, it seems like others get tired of talking to them.
If you are somebody who regularly 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 examination. If your hearing specialist discovers hearing problems, hearing aid solutions should be talked about. Consulting a good hearing specialist may be all that is needed to feel much better.