Hearing Aids can help reduce the negative effects of the common condition of hearing loss. But a greater occurrence of depression and feelings of isolation happens when hearing loss goes untreated and undiagnosed.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where solitude and depression from hearing loss bring about a breakdown in work and personal relationship causing even worse depression and isolation. Treating hearing loss is the key to ending this unnecessary cycle.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Researchers have discovered in numerous studies that untreated hearing loss is linked to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, based upon one study, more likely to impact people over 50 who struggle with untreated hearing loss. And it was also more likely that those people would withdraw from social involvement. Many couldn’t understand why it seemed like people were getting mad at them. Still, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – friends, co-workers, and family – also saw improvements.
A different study found that people between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 decibels. People over the age of 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss did not demonstrate a significant contrast in depression rates in comparison to people without hearing loss. But all other demographics have individuals who aren’t getting the help that they require for their hearing loss. And people who participated in another study reported that those people who managed their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower depression rate.
Lack of Awareness or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
It would seem obvious that with these kinds of outcomes people would wish to get help with their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from getting help. Some people believe that their hearing is functioning just fine when it actually isn’t. They assume that people are intentionally talking quietly or mumbling. Also, it’s quite common for people to have no clue they have a hearing impairment. To them, it seems as if others get tired of talking to them.
It’s essential that anyone who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the feeling that they are being excluded from interactions due to people speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing examined. If your hearing specialist discovers hearing problems, hearing aid options should be talked about. You could possibly feel a lot better if you go to see a hearing specialist.