Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is often neglected and untreated. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of separation in those with hearing loss.
And these feelings of depression and isolation can be increased by the breakdown of work and personal relationships which frequently accompany hearing loss. The key to ending that downward spiral is getting treatment for your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and depression
It’s true that neglected hearing loss is linked to developing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of people 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 also reported being less socially active. Many stated that they felt like people were getting mad at them for no reason. However, individuals who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also said they noticed improvements.
For individuals with hearing loss of higher than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more prevalent. People over 70 with self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a significant difference in depression rates compared to people without hearing loss. But there are still a great many individuals who need assistance and aren’t getting it.
Mental health can be impacted by refusal to wear hearing aids or to lack of awareness
It seems as if it would be clear that you should treat your hearing loss when you read reports like this. Maybe you simply don’t think your hearing is that bad. You may think people aren’t speaking clearly.
You might just think it costs too much.
It’s important to get a hearing exam if you think that you are being left out of interactions or are feeling anxiety or depression. If there is hearing loss, we can discuss your options. It could help you feel much better.