Recent studies have found that there is a significant association between untreated hearing loss and moderate to severe depression. There are several likely reasons why loss of hearing leads to depression in so many people. Communication, which is vital to social interactions, becomes a source of stress when someone has to struggle to hear others speak, and frequent misunderstandings can result in embarrassment. After awhile, people with untreated hearing loss begin to avoid social situations, especially if they involve loud surroundings like parties or crowded restaurants where understanding speech is more difficult. Withdrawal tends to progress until the person gradually quits on life, choosing to remain in silent isolation rather than struggle to hear and communicate publicly. Cutting oneself off from society and and activities is a red flag for depression.
The following are ten facts that are important about the risk of people with hearing loss developing depression:
- In a study conducted on Generation X and Baby Boomer patients with untreated hearing loss, participants were found more likely to develop depression and other psychological issues than their hearing peers.
- Another large study of adults 50 and older with untreated hearing loss found they were more likely to experience depression and other emotional and mental instabilities, and were significantly less socially active than their peers who wore hearing aids.
- This same study found depression and similar disorders were found to get worse as hearing ability declined.
- People with untreated hearing loss find it more difficult to communicate with others, leading to the avoidance of social interaction with family and friends. Isolation is a known contributor to depression.
- The onset of depression in older adults has been associated with the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Along with depression, people with untreated hearing loss are known to experience anxiety, paranoia, relationship problems, stress and other negative emotions.
- Using hearing aids can significantly improve emotional and cognitive conditions in adults over the age of 65.
- 36% of people who begin wearing hearing aids experienced improved overall mental health, while 34% increased in social engagement.
- Despite the fact that hearing aids can help improve the quality of people’s lives, the average time from patient realization of hearing loss to purchase of hearing aids is eight years.
- An initiative called Healthy People 2020 calls for an increase in hearing tests for adults between the ages of 20 and 70.
*Some of this content was provided by signiausa.com. At Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ we carry Signia brand hearing aids. Call us today at 772-286-4327 and schedule your FREE comprehensive hearing screening with our Board Certified Hearing Aid Specialist.