Hearing Aids can help reduce the negative consequence of the common condition of hearing loss. But a higher occurrence of depression and feelings of solitude occurs when hearing loss goes untreated and undiscovered.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and work relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of isolation and depression. Treating hearing loss is the key to ending this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Many Studies
Researchers have found in numerous studies that untreated hearing loss is connected to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of individuals who suffer from neglected hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, and signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to avoid social experiences. Many stated that they felt like people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, relationships were improved for people who used hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
Another study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, revealed a greater feeling of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of more than 25 decibels. The only group that didn’t document an increased incidence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals 70 years old or older. But that still means that a large part of the population is not getting the help they need to better their lives. A different study revealed that hearing aid users had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those subjects who had hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Affected by Resistance to Wearing Hearing Aids
It would seem obvious that with these kinds of outcomes people would wish to get assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. Some people believe that their hearing is functioning just fine when it really isn’t. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are speaking softly on purpose. Also, it’s fairly common for people to have no clue they have a hearing impairment. To them, it seems as if others get tired of talking to them.
It’s essential that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the sense that they are being left out of interactions due to people speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, get their hearing tested. If there’s hearing loss, that person needs to talk about which hearing aid is best for them. Seeing a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.