Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated simply with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is frequently neglected and untreated. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those with hearing loss.
And these feelings of depression and separation can be enhanced by the breakdown of professional and personal relationships which frequently accompany hearing loss. This is a vicious cycle that can be avoided, and treating your hearing loss is the key to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and depression
It’s true that neglected hearing loss is linked to experiencing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of people with neglected hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to describe symptoms of depression, along with indications of paranoia or anxiety. They also reported being less socially involved. Many stated that they thought people were getting mad at them for no reason. However, people who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also stated that they saw improvements.
Another study found that individuals between ages 18 and 70, reported an increased sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 Decibels. Increased depression was not reported by individuals over 70 who had self-reported hearing loss. But there are still a great many individuals who need assistance and aren’t getting it.
Lack of recognition or unwillingness to wear hearing aids impacts mental health
It seems as if it would be clear that you should get your hearing loss treated when you read reports like this. Perhaps you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You think that people are mumbling.
Another factor could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s vital that anybody who has dealt with symptoms of anxiety and depression, or the feeling that they are being left out of conversations because people seem to be talking too quietly or mumbling a lot, get their hearing checked. If there is hearing loss, we can talk about your options. That may be all you need to feel a whole lot better.