Hearing loss is a fairly common issue in the US, with research indicating that one in eight people aged at least 12 years has hearing loss in both ears. If you experience hearing loss, you can readily rely on hearing aids and other assistive listening devices prescribed by a trusted audiologist to enhance your hearing. However, there is a high likelihood of feeling isolated and depressed if your hearing loss goes undiagnosed and untreated.
Your hearing loss can also cause a strain in your professional and personal relationships, resulting in even worse isolation and depression. Thankfully, treating your hearing loss is effective in preventing this vicious cycle. Here’s how your mood can be improved by simply having your hearing checked.
Numerous Studies Have Linked Hearing Loss to Depression
Countless research has discovered in several studies that neglected hearing loss is directly linked to the progress of depressive symptoms, and this is not something new at all. A study of individuals who experienced neglected hearing loss revealed that adults aged 50 years were more likely to report signs of anxiety, paranoia and depression. Researchers also found that it was more likely that these individuals would avoid all forms of social interactions.
This reality is because they felt as if people were getting frustrated with them for no apparent reason. On the other hand, individuals who had hearing loss but wore hearing aids reported excellent improvements in their relationships. People in their lives, like their colleagues, friends and family members, also reported significant differences.
Another study discovered that individuals aged 18 and 70 reported a more profound feeling of depression if they experienced a hearing loss of over 25 decibels. The only group that failed to report a notable increase in depression levels even with their hearing loss was individuals aged 70 years or older. This phenomenon is likely because people in this demographic understand that hearing loss comes with their age, so they feel less sad about it.
However, all other demographics have individuals who aren’t receiving the necessary help for their hearing loss. A different study showed that people who use hearing aids reported depression symptoms less frequently than their counterparts who had hearing loss but did not use hearing aids.
Ignorance Or Reluctance to Use Hearing Aids Can Affect Mental Health
It is safe to assume that with documented research outcomes like these, many people experiencing hearing loss would be more than willing to embrace hearing loss to improve their condition. Sadly, the reality is often far from this. People experiencing hearing loss typically avoid treatment due to two dominant factors. First of all, some people who have hearing loss assume that their hearing is just fine when it isn’t.
Consequently, they think people they can’t hear are intentionally mumbling or speaking quietly or not speaking at all to trick them into thinking their hearing is subpar. Secondly, some people are oblivious to the fact that they have a hearing impairment. These individuals assume that other people simply get tired of interacting with them, accounting for the constant silence they experience in their daily lives. However, they are likely being spoken to constantly but cannot hear, respond and sustain meaningful conversations.
Therefore, it might be time for a hearing test if you feel like people are constantly mumbling, speaking quietly or tricking you by not talking at all. Many experts recommend doing this even before depression and anxiety set in. However, you are not too late if you go in for this test after experiencing feelings of depression and anxiety since correct diagnosis and treatment will guarantee a mood boost in the long run. If hearing loss is present, you should discuss hearing aid options with your audiologist to decide which is best for you.
During this discussion, your audiologist will undoubtedly mention various styles like in-the-ear (ITC), behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids. These options have their unique pros and cons worth considering based on your lifestyle and budget. Your preferred hearing aid appearance and audio quality must also influence your final decision, so keep this in mind. In many cases, seeing a good audiologist might be all you need to feel much better than you currently do.
Why Select Hear Here Audiology For Hearing Loss Treatment
We recognize that no individual or hearing loss experience is the same, so we adopt a patient-centered care approach to treat your unique case in the best way possible. In addition, we are skilled in using technology from all the top manufacturers and apply evidence-based practices in all our assessments. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at 727-289-1212 to get started.