Hearing loss is a prevalent problem that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and neglected – and that can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in people with hearing loss.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where isolation and depression from hearing loss cause a breakdown in personal and work relationship causing even worse depression and solitude. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Countless Studies
Symptoms of depression have been consistently connected, according to countless studies, to hearing loss. One study of individuals who suffer from untreated hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. And it was also more likely that that group would retreat from social involvement. Many reported that they felt as if people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, relationships were enhanced for people who wore hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
Another study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of greater than 25 dB. The only group that didn’t report a higher incidence of depression even with hearing loss was people over the age of 70. But all other demographics include people who aren’t getting the help that they require for their hearing loss. Another study revealed that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who suffered from hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
Lack of Awareness or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Affects Mental Health
With reported benefits like those, you might think that people would want to treat their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. Some people think that their hearing is working just fine when it really isn’t. They think that people are intentionally talking quietly or mumbling. Also, it’s quite common for people to be clueless about their hearing problem. To them, it seems as if other people get tired of talking to them.
If you are someone who frequently thinks 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 there’s hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is right for them. You could possibly feel much better if you consult a hearing specialist.