Hearing loss is a common condition that can be mitigated simply by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But hearing loss is frequently neglected and untreated. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those who have hearing loss.
It can also lead to a breakdown in personal and professional relationships, which itself will foster more feelings of depression and solitude. The key to ending that downward spiral is getting treatment for 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 people with neglected hearing loss found that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with indications of paranoia or anxiety. They also reported being less socially active. Many stated that they felt like people were getting angry at them for no reason. However, individuals who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, colleagues, and friends – also stated that they noticed improvements.
For people with hearing loss of higher 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 that still means that a significant part of the population isn’t getting the help they require to better their lives.
Lack of recognition or unwillingness to use hearing aids affects mental health
With reported results like these, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to get your hearing loss treated. Maybe you think your hearing is fine. You may think people aren’t speaking clearly.
Another factor could be that you think treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s essential that anyone who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the feeling that they are being left out of conversations because people seem to be talking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing checked. We can talk about your options if we do find hearing loss. That might be all that you need to feel a whole lot better.