Hearing loss is a common affliction that can be alleviated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a greater occurrence of depression and feelings of solitude occurs when hearing loss is neglected and undiscovered.
And it can spiral into a vicious circle where isolation and depression from hearing loss cause a breakdown in work and personal relationship resulting in even worse depression and solitude. Treating hearing loss is the key to preventing this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Many Studies
Symptoms of depression have been continuously linked, according to numerous studies, to hearing loss. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, based upon one study, more likely to impact individuals over 50 who have untreated hearing loss. And it was also more likely that that group would withdraw from social engagement. Many said that they felt like people were getting frustrated with them for no reason. Still, those who used hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – friends, co-workers, and family – also noticed improvements.
Another study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, revealed a more acute 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 individuals who aren’t getting the help that they need for their hearing loss. A different study revealed that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who had hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
With reported benefits like those, you might think that people would wish to deal with their hearing loss. But people don’t get help for two main reasons. One is that some simply don’t think their hearing is that bad. They have themselves convinced that others are mumbling or even that they are speaking quietly on purpose. Also, it’s fairly common for people to have no clue they have a hearing problem. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
It’s imperative that anybody who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being excluded from interactions due to people speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing tested. If your hearing specialist detects hearing problems, hearing aid options should be discussed. You could possibly feel a lot better if you consult a hearing specialist.