Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can result in greater depression rates and feelings of solitude in people who suffer from hearing loss.
It can also result in a strain in work and personal relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of depression and isolation. This is a difficulty that doesn’t have to take place, and managing your hearing loss is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Studies Link Depression to Hearing Loss
Researchers have found in several studies that untreated hearing loss is connected to the development of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of individuals with neglected hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of anxiety and paranoia. They were also more likely to avoid social experiences. Many stated that they felt like people were getting frustrated with them for no reason. However, relationships were improved for those who wore hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all noticed the difference.
Another 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. The only group that didn’t report a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was people 70 years old or older. But all other demographics have individuals who aren’t receiving the help that they need for their hearing loss. A different study revealed that hearing aid users had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who had hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would wish to get assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. Some people think that their hearing is working just fine when it actually isn’t. They assume that people are intentionally speaking quietly or mumbling. The second factor is that some people might not recognize that they have a hearing loss. To them, it seems as if other people don’t want to talk to them.
If you are somebody who frequently 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 your hearing specialist detects hearing problems, hearing aid solutions should be discussed. Consulting a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.