Hearing loss is a common affliction that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a higher incident of depression and feelings of isolation occurs when hearing loss is neglected and undiscovered.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where isolation and depression from hearing loss bring about a breakdown in work and personal relationship leading to even worse depression and isolation. Treating hearing loss is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Symptoms of depression have been continuously linked, according to numerous studies, to hearing loss. One study of individuals who suffer from untreated hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, and signs of anxiety and paranoia. And it was also more likely that those people would withdraw from social engagement. Many reported that they felt as if people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – friends, co-workers, and family – also observed improvements.
A more profound sense of depression is experienced, as documented by a different study, by people who suffered from a 25 decibel or higher hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t report a higher incidence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But that still indicates that a significant part of the population is not getting the help they need to improve their lives. And individuals who participated in another study revealed that those people who treated their hearing loss using hearing aids had a lower depression rate.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
With reported outcomes like those, you would think that people would wish to manage their hearing loss. But people don’t find help for two principal reasons. First, some people simply don’t think their hearing is that bad. They assume that people are deliberately talking quietly or mumbling. Also, it’s relatively common for people to be clueless about their hearing impairment. To them, it seems like other people don’t want to talk to them.
If you are somebody who frequently 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 your hearing specialist detects hearing problems, hearing aid options should be discussed. You could possibly feel much better if you consult a hearing specialist.