Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is often ignored and untreated. This can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of solitude in those who have hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and professional relationships, which itself will foster more feelings of depression and solitude. This is a horrible cycle that can be prevented, and treating your hearing loss is the key to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and its link to depression
It’s true that untreated hearing loss is linked to developing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of individuals with untreated hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to avoid social activities. Many stated that they felt like people were getting angry at them for no reason. But when those individuals got hearing aids, they reported improvements in their social situation, and other people in their life also noticed the difference.
Another study found that individuals between ages 18 and 70, reported an increased sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 dB. Individuals over 70 with self-reported hearing loss did not show a significant difference in depression rates compared to individuals without hearing loss. But that still means that a significant part of the population isn’t getting the help they require to better their lives.
Lack of recognition or unwillingness to use hearing aids affects mental health
With reported results like those, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to get your hearing loss treated. Maybe you believe your hearing is okay. You might think people are mumbling.
Another issue could be that you think treating your hearing loss is too costly or time consuming.
It’s imperative that anyone who has dealt with symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being left out of interactions because people seem to be talking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing tested. We can discuss your options if we do find hearing loss. It could help you feel a lot better.