Hearing loss is a common affliction that can be alleviated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and neglected – and that can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in people who suffer from hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in work and personal relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of depression and isolation. This is a difficulty that doesn’t need to happen, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Research Connects Hearing Loss to Depression
Symptoms of depression have been consistently linked, according to several studies, to hearing loss. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, according to one study, more likely to affect people over 50 who have untreated hearing loss. They were also more likely to stay away from social activities. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. However, relationships were improved for individuals who wore hearing aids, who stated that friends, family, and co-workers all noticed the difference.
A more intense sense of depression is experienced, as documented by a different study, by individuals who suffered from a 25 decibel or higher hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t document a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But that still indicates that a large part of the population is not getting the assistance they require to improve their lives. Another study found that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who had hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Affected by Resistance to Wearing Hearing Aids
With reported outcomes like those, you would think that people would need to manage their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from finding help. First, some people simply don’t think their hearing is that bad. They think that others are purposely speaking quietly or mumbling. Also, it’s relatively common for people to be clueless about their hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like talking with them.
It’s imperative that anybody who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being left out of interactions because they are speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing tested. If your hearing specialist detects hearing problems, hearing aid options should be discussed. You could possibly feel much better if you go to see a hearing specialist.