Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated simply with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Unfortunately, hearing loss frequently goes undiagnosed and untreated. This can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those who have hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and professional relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of depression and isolation. This is a horrible cycle that can be avoided, and treating your hearing loss is the key to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and its connection to depression
We’ve known that hearing loss can produce feelings of separation and depression for a long time now. One study of individuals with untreated hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They also reported being less socially active. Many stated that they thought people were getting mad at them for no reason. However, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, colleagues, and friends – also said they saw improvements.
For people with hearing loss of higher than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more prevalent. People over the age of 70 with self-reported hearing loss did not show a major difference in depression rates compared to people without hearing loss. But there are still a lot of people who need help and aren’t getting it.
Mental health can be affected by refusal to wear hearing aids or to lack of awareness
With reported results like those, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to treat your hearing loss. Maybe you believe your hearing is okay. You may think people aren’t speaking clearly.
You might just think it costs too much.
It’s essential that anyone who has experienced 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, have their hearing assessed. If there is hearing loss, we can talk over your options. It could help you feel a lot better.