Assistive listening devices and hearing aids can be used to treat the prevalent condition of hearing loss. But hearing loss is often neglected and untreated. For people who suffered from hearing loss, this can bring about feelings of social-separation and depression.
And these feelings of depression and separation can be enhanced by the breakdown of professional and personal relationships which frequently accompany hearing loss. The solution to ending that downward spiral is treating your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and its link to depression
It’s true that untreated hearing loss is connected to experiencing depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. One study of people with untreated 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 steer clear of social activities. A lot of them felt like people were getting angry at them and they didn’t know why. But when those people got hearing aids, they reported improvements in their social situation, and other people in their life also noticed the difference.
For people with hearing loss of higher than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more common. Individuals over 70 with self-reported hearing loss didn’t show a significant difference in depression rates compared to individuals without hearing loss. But that still means that a large part of the population isn’t getting the help they need to better their lives.
Lack of awareness or unwillingness to use hearing aids affects mental health
It seems as if it would be obvious that you should treat your hearing loss when you read reports like this. Perhaps you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You think that people are mumbling.
You may just think it’s too costly.
It’s vital that anyone who has experienced symptoms of depression or anxiety, or the sense that they are being left out of conversations because people seem to be talking really quietly or mumbling a lot, get their hearing assessed. We can talk about your options if we do find hearing loss. It could help you feel much better.