Hearing loss is a common problem that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of solitude in those with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in work and personal relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of isolation and depression. This is a difficulty that doesn’t have to take place, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Research Connects Hearing Loss to Depression
Researchers have found in several studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the development of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of people with neglected hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to avoid social experiences. Many stated that they felt as if people were getting angry at them for no apparent reason. Still, those who wore hearing aids noted improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – family, co-workers, and friends – also noticed improvements.
A more intense sense of depression is encountered, as documented by a different study, by people who suffered from a 25 decibel or higher hearing impairment. Individuals over 70 with a self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a significant difference in depression rates in comparison to people who didn’t suffer from hearing loss. But that still indicates that a large part of the population is not getting the help they require to improve their lives. And people who participated in another study reported that those participants who treated their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower depression rate.
Mental Health is Impacted by Opposition to Wearing Hearing Aids
With reported outcomes like those, you might imagine that people would wish to treat their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from seeking help. Some people believe that their hearing is functioning just fine when it really isn’t. 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 like others get tired of talking to them.
If you are someone who regularly thinks people are speaking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing test. If there is hearing loss, that person needs to talk about which hearing aid is best for them. You could possibly feel a lot better if you go to see a hearing specialist.