Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Still, a lot of hearing loss goes undiagnosed and neglected – and that can result in higher depression rates and feelings of solitude in those with hearing loss.
And it can spiral into a vicious circle where isolation and depression from hearing loss cause a breakdown in work and personal relationship resulting in even worse depression and solitude. Getting hearing loss treated is the key to stopping this unnecessary cycle.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Numerous Studies
Symptoms of depression have been consistently linked, according to countless studies, to hearing loss. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and paranoia were, as reported by one study, more likely to affect people over 50 who struggle with neglected hearing loss. And it was also more likely that that group would retreat from social engagement. Many couldn’t comprehend why it seemed like people were getting mad at them. However, relationships were enhanced for individuals who wore hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
A more intense sense of depression is encountered, as documented by a different study, by individuals who had a 25 decibel or more hearing impairment. The only group that didn’t record an increased incidence of depression even with hearing loss was individuals over the age of 70. But that still means that a large part of the population is not getting the assistance they need to improve their lives. Another study discovered that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who had hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Affected by Resistance to Using Hearing Aids
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would want to seek out help with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. Some people think that their hearing is working just fine when it really isn’t. They assume that others are intentionally speaking quietly or mumbling. The second factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
If you are somebody who regularly thinks people are speaking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing examination. If there is hearing loss, that person should talk about which hearing aid is best for them. Seeing a good hearing specialist may be all that is needed to feel much better.