Hearing Aids can help reduce the negative effects of the common condition of hearing loss. But a greater incident of depression and feelings of solitude occurs when hearing loss goes untreated and undiscovered.
And it can spiral into a vicious circle where solitude and depression from hearing loss cause a breakdown in personal and work relationship resulting in even worse depression and solitude. This is a problem that doesn’t need to take place, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Research Connects Hearing Loss to Depression
Researchers have discovered in numerous studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the advancement of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of individuals with untreated hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to stay away from social experiences. Many reported that they felt as if people were getting angry at them for no apparent reason. Still, those who wore hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – friends, co-workers, and family – also saw improvements.
A more intense sense of depression is experienced, as documented by a different study, by individuals who had a 25 decibel or more hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t report a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was people 70 years old or older. But all other demographics contain individuals who aren’t receiving the help that they require for their hearing loss. A different study found that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those subjects who suffered from hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
ignorance or Unwillingness to Use Hearing Aids Impacts Mental Health
With documented benefits like those, you would think that people would need to deal with their hearing loss. However, two factors have prevented people from seeking help. Some people assume that their hearing is working just fine when it actually isn’t. They think that others are purposely talking quietly or mumbling. The other factor is that some people may not realize they have a hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
It’s essential that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the feeling that they are being excluded from interactions because they are speaking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing examined. If there’s hearing loss, that person should discuss which hearing aid is right for them. Seeing a good hearing specialist might be all that is needed to feel much better.