Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be alleviated simply with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is frequently ignored and untreated. For individuals with hearing loss, this can bring about feelings of social-isolation and depression.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and professional relationships, which itself will foster more feelings of depression and solitude. This is a horrible cycle that can be prevented, and treating your hearing loss is the solution to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and depression
It’s true that neglected hearing loss is linked to experiencing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of people with neglected hearing loss revealed that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with indications of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to refrain from social activities. A lot of them had the feeling that people were getting mad at them and they weren’t sure why. But when those people got hearing aids, they reported improvements in their social situation, and others in their life also noted the difference.
For people with hearing loss of more than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more common. Increased depression was not reported by people over 70 who had self-reported hearing loss. But there are still a lot of people who need help and aren’t receiving it.
Lack of recognition or unwillingness to wear hearing aids affects mental health
With reported results like these, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to treat your hearing loss. Maybe you think your hearing is fine. You think that people are mumbling.
Another factor could be that you believe treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s vital that anyone who has experienced 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 too much, have their hearing tested. If there is hearing loss, we can discuss your options. That may be all you need to feel so much better.