Hearing loss is a common problem that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiscovered and untreated – and that can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in people with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of depression and isolation. This is a problem that doesn’t need to take place, and managing your hearing loss is the best way to end the downward spiral.
Hearing Loss Has Been Linked to Depression by Many Studies
Symptoms of depression have been consistently linked, according to numerous studies, to hearing loss. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia were, as reported by one study, more likely to affect people over the age of 50 who struggle with untreated hearing loss. They were also more likely to avoid social activities. Many couldn’t understand why it seemed like people were getting mad at them. However, relationships were enhanced for people who got hearing aids, who stated that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
A different study discovered that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a more acute feeling of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of more than 25 dB. The only group that didn’t document a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was people 70 years old or older. But all other demographics contain individuals who aren’t receiving the help that they need for their hearing loss. And individuals who took part in a different study revealed that those participants who managed their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower depression rate.
Mental Health is Impacted by Resistance to Wearing Hearing Aids
With reported results like those, you might imagine that people would wish to treat their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from seeking help. First, some people simply don’t think their hearing is that impaired. They have themselves convinced that others are mumbling or even that they are speaking quietly on purpose. Also, it’s relatively common for people to be clueless about their hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
It’s imperative that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the sense that they are being excluded from interactions due to people talking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing examined. If your hearing specialist detects hearing problems, hearing aid options should be talked about. You could possibly feel much better if you consult a hearing specialist.