Hearing loss is a prevalent condition that can be alleviated simply by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, hearing loss often goes undiagnosed and unaddressed. This can result in greater depression rates and feelings of solitude in those with hearing loss.
It can also cause a breakdown in personal and professional relationships, which itself contributes to more feelings of depression and solitude. This is a vicious cycle that can be prevented, and treating your hearing loss is the key to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and depression
We’ve been aware that hearing loss can produce feelings of solitude and depression for a long time now. One study of individuals with neglected hearing loss found that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to describe symptoms of depression, along with indications of paranoia or anxiety. They were also more likely to avoid social activities. Many said that they felt like people were getting mad at them for no reason. But when those individuals got hearing aids, they reported improvements in their social situation, and other people in their life also noted the difference.
For people with hearing loss of more than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more prevalent. Increased depression wasn’t reported by people over 70 who had self-reported hearing loss. But that still means that a large part of the population is not getting the help they require to better their lives.
Mental health can be impacted by refusal to use hearing aids or to lack of awareness
With reported results like these, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to get your hearing loss treated. Perhaps you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You may think people aren’t speaking clearly.
You might just think it costs too much.
It’s important to get a hearing exam if you think that you are being left out of interactions or are feeling anxious or depressed. We can discuss your options if we do find hearing loss. It could help you feel a lot better.