Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a greater incident of depression and feelings of isolation happens when hearing loss goes untreated and undiscovered.
It can also result in a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of depression and isolation. Treating hearing loss is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Researchers have found in numerous studies that untreated hearing loss is linked to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia were, according to one study, more likely to affect people over 50 who have neglected hearing loss. And it was also more likely that those people would retreat from social engagement. Many stated that they felt like people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, relationships were improved for people who used hearing aids, who reported that friends, family, and co-workers all noticed the difference.
Another study discovered that people between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a more acute feeling of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 decibels. Individuals over the age of 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss didn’t demonstrate a major contrast in depression rates compared to people who didn’t suffer from hearing loss. But that still indicates that a large part of the population is not getting the help they require to improve their lives. A different study discovered that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those subjects who suffered from hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
Lack of Awareness or Unwillingness to Wear Hearing Aids Affects Mental Health
With documented benefits like those, you would think that people would need to treat their hearing loss. But people don’t seek out help for two principal reasons. First, some people simply don’t think their hearing is that bad. They think that others are deliberately talking quietly or mumbling. Also, it’s quite common for people to be clueless about their hearing problem. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
It’s imperative that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the feeling that they are being excluded from interactions due to people talking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing checked. If there is hearing loss, that person should talk about which hearing aid is best for them. You could possibly feel a lot better if you consult a hearing specialist.