Hearing loss is a common condition that can be alleviated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, hearing loss often goes undiagnosed and untreated. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of solitude in those who have hearing loss.
And these feelings of depression and separation can be increased by the breakdown of professional and personal relationships which often accompany hearing loss. This is a vicious cycle that can be prevented, and treating your hearing loss is the key to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and depression
We’ve known that hearing loss can cause feelings of solitude and depression for a long time now. Adults older than 50 with untreated hearing loss often report feelings of depression and anxiety, according to one study. They were also more likely to steer clear of social activities. A lot of them had the feeling that people were getting mad at them and they weren’t sure why. But when those individuals got hearing aids, they reported improvements in their social situation, and other people in their life also noticed the difference.
For individuals with hearing loss of more than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more prevalent. Individuals over the age of 70 with self-reported hearing loss did not show a significant difference in depression rates compared to people without hearing loss. But there are still a great many people who need help and aren’t getting it.
Lack of recognition or unwillingness to use hearing aids impacts mental health
With reported results like these, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to treat your hearing loss. Maybe you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You think that others are mumbling.
Another issue could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s vital that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression, or the feeling that they are being left out of interactions because people seem to be talking too quietly or mumbling a lot, get their hearing assessed. If there is hearing loss, we can discuss your options. It could help you feel a lot better.