Hearing Aids can help lessen the negative consequence of the prevalent condition of hearing loss. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated – and that can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those with hearing loss.
It can also lead to a strain in personal and work relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of isolation and depression. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Studies Link Hearing Loss to Depression
Symptoms of depression have been continuously linked, according to several studies, to hearing loss. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, based upon one study, more likely to affect individuals over 50 who have untreated hearing loss. And it was also more likely that those people would withdraw from social engagement. Many stated that they felt like people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. However, those who used hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also noticed improvements.
A more profound sense of depression is experienced, as documented by a different study, by people who suffered from a 25 decibel or more hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t report a higher occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals 70 years old or older. But that still means that a significant part of the population is not getting the help they require 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 Opposition to Wearing Hearing Aids
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would want to seek out assistance with their hearing loss. But people don’t get help for two main reasons. One is that some simply don’t think their hearing is that impaired. They assume that others are deliberately talking quietly or mumbling. The other factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing impairment. To them, it seems as if others don’t want to talk to them.
It’s vital that anybody who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the sense that they are being excluded from interactions due to people talking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing tested. If there is hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is right for them. Seeing a good hearing specialist may be all that is needed to feel a whole lot better.