Hearing loss is a common problem that can be alleviated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a greater incident of depression and feelings of solitude occurs when hearing loss goes untreated and undiagnosed.
It can also result in a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself adds to more feelings of depression and isolation. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to preventing this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Countless Studies
Researchers have found in several studies that neglected hearing loss is connected to the development of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of individuals with untreated hearing loss found that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, and signs of paranoia or anxiety. And it was also more likely that that group would withdraw from social involvement. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting angry with them. However, relationships were improved for individuals who got hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all noticed the difference.
A more intense sense of depression is encountered, as reported by a different study, by individuals who had a 25 decibel or more hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t record an increased incidence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But all other demographics have people who aren’t getting the help that they need for their hearing loss. Another study revealed that hearing aid users had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who had hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Impacted by Opposition to Using Hearing Aids
It seems apparent that with these kinds of outcomes people would want to seek out help with their hearing loss. But people don’t get help for two main reasons. One is that some simply don’t recognize that their hearing is that bad. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are talking softly on purpose. Also, it’s relatively common for people to be clueless about their hearing impairment. To them, it seems as if other people get tired of talking to them.
It’s imperative that anybody who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being excluded from interactions due to people talking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing examined. If there’s hearing loss, that person needs to talk about which hearing aid is best for them. Consulting a good hearing specialist may be all that is needed to feel much better.