Hearing loss is a prevalent affliction that can be alleviated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a higher incident of depression and feelings of solitude happens when hearing loss is neglected and undiscovered.
It can also lead to a breakdown in work and personal relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of isolation and depression. Treating hearing loss is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Researchers have discovered in several studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the progression of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new trend. One study of individuals who suffer from neglected hearing loss discovered that adults 50 years or older were more likely to document symptoms of depression, along with signs of anxiety and paranoia. 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. However, those who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and the people around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also observed improvements.
A more profound sense of depression is encountered, as documented by a different study, by individuals who suffered from a 25 decibel or higher hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t record an increased occurrence of depression even with hearing loss was people 70 years old or older. But that still indicates that a large part of the population is not getting the help they require to improve their lives. A different study found that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who suffered from hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Impacted by Opposition to Using Hearing Aids
With documented outcomes like those, you might think that people would wish to manage their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. First, some people simply don’t recognize that their hearing is that impaired. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are speaking softly on purpose. The other factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing loss. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
If you are somebody who regularly feels like people are speaking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing exam. If there’s hearing loss, that person should discuss which hearing aid is right for them. You could possibly feel much better if you consult a hearing specialist.