Hearing loss is a common condition that can be alleviated simply by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is frequently neglected and untreated. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of separation in those with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and professional relationships, which itself will foster more feelings of depression and isolation. This is a vicious cycle that can be prevented, and treating your hearing loss is the solution to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and depression
It’s true that untreated hearing loss is linked to developing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of individuals with neglected hearing loss found that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to describe symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to steer clear of social activities. A lot of them felt like people were getting mad at them and they weren’t sure why. However, individuals who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also stated that they noticed improvements.
Another study found that individuals between ages 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 Decibels. Individuals over the age of 70 with self-reported hearing loss did not show a significant difference in depression rates compared to people without hearing loss. But that still means that a significant part of the population isn’t getting the help they need to better their lives.
Lack of awareness or unwillingness to wear hearing aids impacts mental health
With reported results like those, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to treat your hearing loss. Maybe you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You think that people are mumbling.
Another issue could be that you think treating your hearing loss is too costly or time consuming.
It’s essential that anybody who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being left out of conversations because people seem to be talking too quietly or mumbling a lot, get their hearing checked. We can talk about your options if we do find hearing loss. That may be all you need to feel a whole lot better.