Hearing loss is a prevalent problem that can be alleviated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiscovered and neglected – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of isolation in those with hearing loss.
It can also result in a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of depression and isolation. Treating hearing loss is the key to preventing this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Linked to Depression by Numerous Studies
Symptoms of depression have been consistently connected, according to several studies, to hearing loss. One study of individuals who suffer from untreated hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, and signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to stay away from social activities. Many couldn’t understand why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. Still, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also observed improvements.
A more intense sense of depression is experienced, as documented by a different study, by people who suffered from a 25 decibel or higher hearing impairment. Individuals over the age of 70 with a self-reported hearing loss did not demonstrate a major difference in depression rates in comparison to individuals 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. Another study discovered that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those subjects who suffered from hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Impacted by Resistance to Wearing Hearing Aids
With reported results like those, you might think that people would need to manage their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. One is that some simply don’t recognize that their hearing is that impaired. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are talking quietly on purpose. Also, it’s relatively common for people to have no clue they have a hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
If you are someone who regularly thinks people are talking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing test. If there’s hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is best for them. You could possibly feel much better if you go to see a hearing specialist.