Assistive listening devices and hearing aids can be used to treat the common condition of hearing loss. But hearing loss is often neglected and untreated. This can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in those with hearing loss.
And these feelings of depression and separation can be increased by the breakdown of work and personal relationships which frequently come with hearing loss. The key to putting a stop to that downward spiral is getting treatment for your hearing loss.
Hearing loss and its link to depression
We’ve been aware that hearing loss can lead to feelings of isolation and depression for a long time now. 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 signs of paranoia or anxiety. They also reported being less socially active. Many said that they thought people were getting mad at them for no reason. But when those people got hearing aids, they reported improvements in their social condition, and others 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 the age of 70 with self-reported hearing loss did not show a major difference in depression rates compared to individuals without hearing loss. But that still means that a large part of the population is not getting the help they need to better their lives.
Mental health can be affected by refusal to wear hearing aids or to lack of awareness
It seems as if it would be clear that you should treat your hearing loss when you read reports like this. Maybe you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You might think people aren’t speaking clearly.
Another issue could be that you think treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s vital that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression, or the sense that they are being left out of interactions because people appear to be talking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing assessed. We can discuss your options if we do find hearing loss. It could help you feel a lot better.