Hearing Aids can help minimize the negative consequence of the prevalent condition of hearing loss. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can lead to higher depression rates and feelings of isolation in people with hearing loss.
It can also result in a strain in work and personal relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of isolation and depression. This is a problem that doesn’t have to happen, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Countless Studies
Researchers have found in numerous studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of people who suffer from neglected hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, and signs of anxiety and paranoia. And it was also more likely that that group would retreat from social involvement. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting mad at them. However, those who wore hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – family, co-workers, and friends – also saw improvements.
A more profound sense of depression is experienced, as reported by a different study, by individuals who suffered from a 25 decibel or more hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t record a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But all other demographics have people who aren’t getting the help that they require for their hearing loss. A different study discovered that hearing aid users had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who suffered from hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Wear Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
It seems apparent that with these kinds of outcomes people would want to seek out help with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from seeking help. 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 talking softly on purpose. The other factor is that some people may not recognize that they have a hearing impairment. To them, it seems as if other people don’t want to talk to them.
It’s imperative that anyone who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the sense that they are being left out of interactions because they are speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing examined. If there’s hearing loss, that person should discuss which hearing aid is right for them. Consulting a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel much better.