Hearing Aids can help lessen the negative effects of the prevalent condition of hearing loss. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of solitude in people with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of isolation and depression. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Linked to Depression by Many Studies
Researchers have found in several studies that untreated hearing loss is connected to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia were, as reported by one study, more likely to affect people over the age of 50 who have neglected hearing loss. They were also more likely to avoid social activities. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting mad at them. However, those who got hearing aids noted improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – friends, co-workers, and family – also observed improvements.
A different study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 decibels. People over 70 with a self-reported hearing loss didn’t demonstrate a significant difference in depression rates compared to individuals without hearing loss. But all other demographics contain individuals who aren’t receiving the help that they require for their hearing loss. And people who took part in a different study revealed that those people who managed their hearing loss using hearing aids had a lower rate of depression.
Mental Health is Affected by Resistance to Using Hearing Aids
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would want to get help with their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from getting help. One is that some simply don’t think their hearing is that impaired. They assume that others are purposely speaking quietly or mumbling. The second factor is that some people might not recognize that they have a hearing loss. 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 sense that they are being left out of interactions due to people speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing tested. If there is hearing loss, that person should discuss which hearing aid is right for them. Consulting a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.