Assistive listening devices and hearing aids can be utilized to treat the common condition of hearing loss. Unfortunately, hearing loss often goes undiagnosed and untreated. For people with hearing loss, this can trigger feelings of social-separation and depression.
And these feelings of depression and separation can be increased by the breakdown of professional and personal relationships which frequently come with hearing loss. This is a vicious cycle that can be avoided, and treating your hearing loss is the solution to ending that downward spiral.
Hearing loss and its connection to depression
We’ve known that hearing loss can cause feelings of solitude and depression for a long time now. One study of individuals with untreated hearing loss found that adults 50 years old and older were more likely to report symptoms of depression, along with signs of paranoia or anxiety. They also reported being less socially active. Many stated that they thought people were getting angry at them for no reason. However, people who got hearing aids reported improvements in their relationships, and those around them – family, co-workers, and friends – also stated that they noticed improvements.
For individuals with hearing loss of higher than 25 decibels, who were between 18 and 70 years old, depression was more common. Increased depression was not reported by individuals over 70 who had self-reported hearing loss. But that still means that a significant part of the population isn’t getting the help they need to improve their lives.
Lack of awareness or unwillingness to use hearing aids affects mental health
With reported results like those, it seems like a no-brainer that you would want to treat your hearing loss. Perhaps you just don’t think your hearing is that bad. You think that people are mumbling.
Another factor could be that you think treating your hearing loss is too expensive or time consuming.
It’s vital that anyone who has dealt with symptoms of depression or anxiety, 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 talk about your options if we do find hearing loss. That might be all that you need to feel a whole lot better.