Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be alleviated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiscovered and untreated – and that can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of solitude in people with hearing loss.
And it can quickly become a vicious circle where solitude and depression from hearing loss cause a breakdown in personal and work relationship causing even worse depression and isolation. This is a problem that doesn’t need to take place, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Countless Studies
Researchers have found in several studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the advancement of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, as reported by one study, more likely to affect people over 50 who have neglected hearing loss. And it was also more likely that that group would withdraw from social involvement. Many couldn’t understand why it seemed like people were getting mad at them. However, relationships were enhanced for those who used hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all noticed the difference.
A more intense sense of depression is experienced, as reported by a different study, by individuals who suffered from a 25 decibel or higher hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t report a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals 70 years old or older. But all other demographics have people who aren’t getting the help that they need for their hearing loss. And individuals who participated in another study reported that those participants who managed their hearing loss with hearing aids had a lower rate of depression.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Affects Mental Health
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would want to seek out assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from finding help. One is that some simply don’t think their hearing is that impaired. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are talking softly on purpose. The other factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like talking with them.
If you are somebody who regularly feels like people are talking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing test. If there’s hearing loss, that person needs to 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.