Hearing loss is a common affliction that can be mitigated easily by using hearing aids and assistive listening devices. However, a lot of hearing loss goes undiscovered and neglected – and that can lead to greater depression rates and feelings of isolation in people who suffer from hearing loss.
And it can spiral into a vicious circle where solitude and depression from hearing loss bring about a breakdown in work and personal relationship resulting in even worse depression and isolation. This is a difficulty that doesn’t have to happen, and managing your hearing loss is the best way to end the downward spiral.
Hearing Loss Has Been Connected to Depression by Numerous Studies
Researchers have discovered in numerous studies that neglected hearing loss is connected to the development of depressive symptoms – and this isn’t a new phenomenon. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and paranoia were, according to one study, more likely to affect people over the age of 50 who have neglected hearing loss. And it was also more likely that those people would retreat from social engagement. Many said that they felt as if people were getting frustrated with them for no reason. However, relationships were enhanced for people who used hearing aids, who noted that friends, family, and co-workers all recognized the difference.
A different study found that individuals between the ages of 18 and 70, reported a greater feeling of depression if they suffered from hearing loss of more than 25 dB. The only group that didn’t document an increased incidence of depression even with hearing loss was people 70 years old or older. But all other demographics include people who aren’t getting the help that they require for their hearing loss. Another study revealed that people who use hearing aids had a lower reported rate of depression symptoms than those individuals who suffered from hearing loss but who did not use hearing aids.
Mental Health is Impacted by Resistance to Wearing Hearing Aids
With reported results like those, you might imagine that people would wish to deal with their hearing loss. But people don’t find help for two principal reasons. Some people think that their hearing is working just fine when it really isn’t. They have themselves convinced that others are mumbling or even that they are speaking quietly on purpose. The second factor is that some people might not realize they have a hearing loss. To them, it seems as if others get tired of talking to them.
If you are someone who frequently feels like people are speaking quietly or mumbling and it’s causing you to feel anxiety or even depression, it’s time for a hearing test. If your hearing specialist finds hearing problems, hearing aid options should be discussed. Seeing a good hearing specialist may be all that is needed to feel much better.