Hearing loss is a prevalent problem that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a greater occurrence of depression and feelings of isolation occurs 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 isolation and depression. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to preventing this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Numerous Studies
Researchers have discovered in numerous studies that untreated hearing loss is connected to the advancement of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of individuals with untreated hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, and signs of anxiety and paranoia. And it was also more likely that those people would retreat from social engagement. Many reported that they felt as if people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, relationships were improved for those who wore hearing aids, who stated that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
A more intense sense of depression is encountered, as reported by a different study, by people who had a 25 decibel or higher hearing impairment. Individuals over the age of 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss didn’t show a major contrast in depression rates in comparison to individuals who didn’t suffer from hearing loss. But that still indicates that a large part of the population is not getting the assistance they require to better their lives. Another study found 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 Wearing Hearing Aids
With documented results like those, you would think that people would wish to manage their hearing loss. But people don’t seek out help for two main reasons. Some people assume that their hearing is working just fine when it actually isn’t. They think that people are intentionally speaking quietly or mumbling. Also, it’s fairly common for people to be clueless about their hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like talking with them.
If you are someone who regularly thinks people are speaking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing test. If there is hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is right for them. You could possibly feel much better if you go to see a hearing specialist.