Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be alleviated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a higher incident of depression and feelings of isolation happens when hearing loss goes untreated and undiscovered.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where solitude and depression from hearing loss bring about a breakdown in work and personal relationship leading to even worse depression and solitude. This is a problem that doesn’t have to take place, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Symptoms of depression have been consistently connected, according to several studies, to hearing loss. One study of individuals with neglected hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. And it was also more likely that that group would retreat from social engagement. Many reported that they felt like people were getting angry at them for no apparent reason. Still, those who used hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – friends, co-workers, and family – also noticed improvements.
Another study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a more acute sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 dB. The only group that didn’t report an increased occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was people over the age of 70. But all other demographics have people who aren’t receiving the help that they need for their hearing loss. And individuals who took part in a different study reported that those people who managed their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower depression rate.
Mental Health is Affected by Opposition to Using Hearing Aids
With reported results like those, you might think that people would wish to manage their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. First, some people simply don’t think their hearing is that bad. They have themselves convinced that others are mumbling or even that they are speaking quietly on purpose. Also, it’s quite common for people to have no clue they have a hearing problem. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
It’s imperative that anyone who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being left out of interactions because they are talking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing examined. If there is hearing loss, that person should talk about which hearing aid is best for them. You could possibly feel much better if you go to see a hearing specialist.