Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated simply with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is often ignored and untreated. For people with hearing loss, this can bring about feelings of social-separation and depression.
It can also cause a breakdown in personal and work relationships, which itself will foster more feelings of depression and isolation. 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
It’s true that untreated hearing loss is connected to experiencing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. 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 angry at them and they didn’t know why. However, people who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, colleagues, and friends – also said they saw improvements.
For individuals with hearing loss of more than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more common. Individuals over 70 with self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a significant difference in depression rates compared to people without hearing loss. But there are still a great many individuals who need assistance and aren’t receiving it.
Lack of awareness or unwillingness to use hearing aids affects mental health
It seems like it would be clear that you should treat your hearing loss when you read reports like this. Perhaps you simply don’t think your hearing is that bad. You may think people aren’t speaking clearly.
Another factor could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too costly or time consuming.
It’s important to get a hearing assessment if you feel like you are being left out of interactions or are feeling anxiety or depression. If there is hearing loss, we can talk over your options. It could help you feel a lot better.