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 frequently neglected and untreated. This can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of solitude in those with hearing loss.
And these feelings of depression and separation can be increased by the breakdown of work and personal relationships which often come with hearing loss. This is a vicious cycle that can be avoided, and treating your hearing loss is the key to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and depression
We’ve been aware that hearing loss can cause feelings of separation and depression for a long time now. One study of individuals with neglected 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 angry at them for no reason. However, people who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, colleagues, and friends – also said they noticed improvements.
Another study revealed that individuals between ages 18 and 70, reported a greater sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 dB. People over 70 with self-reported hearing loss did not show a big difference in depression rates compared to people without hearing loss. But that still means that a large part of the population isn’t getting the help they require to better their lives.
Lack of awareness or unwillingness to wear hearing aids affects mental health
It seems like it would be clear that you should get your hearing loss treated when you read reports like this. Maybe you believe your hearing is okay. You might think people are mumbling.
You might just think it’s too costly.
It’s essential that anyone who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the sense that they are being left out of conversations because people seem to be talking really quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing assessed. We can discuss your options if we do find hearing loss. It could help you feel much better.