Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is often neglected and untreated. For individuals with hearing loss, this can bring about feelings of social-isolation and depression.
And these feelings of depression and isolation can be increased by the breakdown of work and personal relationships which frequently come with hearing loss. The key to ending that downward spiral is treating your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and its connection to depression
We’ve known that hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation and depression for a long time now. One study of people with neglected hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with indications of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to avoid social activities. Many said that they thought people were getting angry at them for no reason. However, individuals who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, colleagues, and friends – also stated that they noticed improvements.
Another study revealed that people between ages 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 dB. Individuals over 70 with self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a major difference in depression rates compared to individuals without hearing loss. But there are still a great many people who need help and aren’t receiving it.
Mental health can be impacted by refusal to use hearing aids or to lack of awareness
With reported results like these, 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 may think people aren’t speaking clearly.
Another factor could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s essential that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression, or the sense that they are being left out of conversations because people appear to be talking really quietly or mumbling a lot, get their hearing tested. If there is hearing loss, we can discuss your options. That may be all that you need to feel so much better.