Assistive listening devices and hearing aids can be used to treat the common condition of hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing loss frequently goes undiagnosed and unaddressed. This can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those who have hearing loss.
It can also cause a breakdown in personal and work relationships, which itself will foster more feelings of depression and solitude. The key to putting a stop to that downward spiral is treating your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and depression
It’s true that untreated hearing loss is linked to experiencing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of individuals with neglected hearing loss found 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 said that they thought people were getting angry at them for no reason. But when those people got hearing aids, they reported improvements in their social condition, and other people in their life also noticed the difference.
For individuals with hearing loss of more than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more prevalent. People over the age of 70 with self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a significant difference in depression rates compared to individuals without hearing loss. But there are still a lot of individuals who need help and aren’t receiving it.
Mental health can be affected by refusal to use hearing aids or to lack of awareness
With reported results like those, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to treat your hearing loss. Maybe you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You think that others are mumbling.
Another factor could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s vital that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression, 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 assessed. We can talk about your options if we do find hearing loss. It could help you feel a lot better.