Hearing Aids can help minimize the negative effects of the prevalent condition of hearing loss. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of isolation in people with hearing loss.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where isolation and depression from hearing loss cause a breakdown in personal and work relationship causing even worse depression and solitude. This is a problem that doesn’t have to happen, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Researchers have discovered in numerous studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the advancement of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of people with untreated hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to avoid social experiences. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. However, those who wore hearing aids noted improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – friends, co-workers, and family – also observed improvements.
Another study discovered that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, revealed a greater sense of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of greater than 25 decibels. People over the age of 70 with a self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a major difference in depression rates compared to people who didn’t suffer from hearing loss. But all other demographics contain individuals who aren’t receiving the help that they need 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 did not use hearing aids.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
It would seem obvious that with these kinds of results people would want to seek out assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from seeking help. First, some people simply don’t recognize that their hearing is that impaired. They assume that people are intentionally talking quietly or mumbling. The other factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing loss. To them, it seems like others don’t want to talk to them.
If you are someone 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 there’s hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is right for them. Consulting a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.