Hearing loss is a common affliction that can be mitigated easily with the use of hearing aids and assistive listening devices. But a higher incident of depression and feelings of solitude occurs when hearing loss is neglected and undiscovered.
And it can spiral into a vicious circle where solitude and depression from hearing loss cause a breakdown in work and personal relationship resulting in even worse depression and solitude. This is a problem that doesn’t have to happen, and getting that hearing loss treated is the key to ending the downward spiral.
Research Connects Depression to Hearing Loss
Researchers have found in several studies that neglected hearing loss is linked to the development 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 activities. Many said that they felt as if people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. Still, those who got hearing aids noted improvements in their relationships, and the people in their lives – friends, co-workers, and family – also observed improvements.
A more profound sense of depression is experienced, as documented by a different study, by people who suffered from a 25 decibel or more hearing impairment. People over the age of 70 with a self-diagnosed hearing loss didn’t demonstrate a major difference in depression rates in comparison to individuals who didn’t suffer from hearing loss. But that still indicates 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 subjects who suffered from hearing loss but who didn’t use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Impacted by Resistance to Using Hearing Aids
It seems apparent that with these kinds of results people would wish to get assistance with their hearing loss. However, two factors have stopped people from getting help. First, some people simply don’t recognize that their hearing is that bad. They have themselves convinced that people are mumbling or even that they are talking quietly on purpose. Also, it’s relatively common for people to be clueless about their hearing impairment. It seems, to them, that people don’t like to talk to them.
It’s essential that anybody who has experienced symptoms of anxiety or depression, or the sense that they are being excluded from interactions due to people talking too quietly or mumbling too much, have their hearing tested. If there’s hearing loss, that person needs to discuss which hearing aid is best for them. You could possibly feel much better if you consult a hearing specialist.