Assistive listening devices and hearing aids can be used to treat the common condition of hearing loss. But hearing loss is often neglected and untreated. For individuals with hearing loss, this can bring about feelings of social-isolation and depression.
And these feelings of depression and isolation can be enhanced by the breakdown of professional and personal relationships which frequently accompany hearing loss. The solution to ending that downward spiral is treating your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and depression
It’s true that neglected hearing loss is linked to developing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of individuals with neglected hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to describe symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to refrain from social activities. A lot of them felt like people were getting angry at them and they weren’t sure why. However, people who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also said they noticed improvements.
Another study revealed that individuals between ages 18 and 70, reported an increased sense of depression if they had hearing loss of more than 25 dB. Individuals over the age of 70 with self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a big difference in depression rates compared to individuals without hearing loss. But that still means that a significant part of the population is not getting the help they require to better their lives.
Lack of awareness or unwillingness to use hearing aids impacts mental health
With reported results like these, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to treat your hearing loss. Perhaps you simply don’t think your hearing is that bad. You think that others are mumbling.
You might just think it costs too much.
It’s imperative that anybody who has dealt with symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being left out of interactions because people seem to be talking really quietly or mumbling a lot, have their hearing assessed. If there is hearing loss, we can talk over your options. It could help you feel a lot better.