Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, hearing loss frequently goes undiagnosed and unaddressed. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and work relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of depression and isolation. The solution to ending that downward spiral is treating your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and depression
We’ve known that hearing loss can produce feelings of separation and depression for a long time now. One study of people with untreated hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to describe symptoms of depression, along with indications of paranoia or anxiety. They also reported being less socially active. A lot of them felt like people were getting angry at them and they weren’t sure why. However, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also stated that they noticed improvements.
Another study revealed that people between ages 18 and 70, reported an increased sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 dB. Increased depression wasn’t reported by individuals over 70 who had self-reported hearing loss. But that still means that a significant part of the population is not getting the help they need to improve their lives.
Mental health can be impacted by refusal to use 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 think that others are mumbling.
Another factor could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too costly or time consuming.
It’s vital that anybody who has dealt with symptoms of anxiety and depression, or the feeling that they are being left out of interactions because people seem to be talking really quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing checked. If there is hearing loss, we can talk about your options. It could help you feel much better.