In recent years, researchers have been looking at hearing loss from every angle. They’ve found links between hearing loss and overall health, diet, and activity levels. Hearing clearly has also been shown to keep you safer at home and on the streets. Untreated hearing loss has been tied to more rapid cognitive decline, and an earlier onset of dementia. Did you know that hearing loss has a big impact your mental health?
Linking Hearing Loss and Depression
For adults between the ages of 18 and 69, hearing loss is linked with depression. Recent studies have shown that living with hearing loss significantly increases feelings of frustration and social isolation in adults. Think about your relationship with your spouse. You’ve always had a good relationship based on clear communication. You talk about the big things, but you share all the little moments together too, and have a lot of inside jokes. When communication breaks down and you aren’t able to share life in the same way, you face a lot of misunderstanding and miscommunication and your closest relationships take a big hit.
Hearing loss affects your ability to communicate easily, and without being able to understand others or express yourself clearly, relationships suffer. Adults who suffer from hearing loss are more likely to become socially isolated than their hearing peers. Have you ever chosen to stay home rather than face your friends at the noisy restaurant? It’s embarrassing to ask people to repeat themselves all the time or answer inappropriately because you haven’t understood the question. Especially in large groups with multiple conversations, or in places with a lot of background noise, it’s difficult for a person with hearing loss to keep up. You might find yourself catching a word here or there, but you just can’t make sense of it all.
Staying home might seem like a good solution at the time, but your relationships will suffer, and you’ll lose a lot of valuable social support. James Firman, president of the National Council on Aging, says “it is not surprising to me that they would be more likely to be depressed. People with hearing loss, especially those who don’t use hearing aids, find it more difficult to communicate with other people, whether in family situations, social gatherings or at work.”
Treating Hearing Loss to Reduce Depression
Major depression is actually very common, affecting nearly 15 million Americans. The average age of onset is just 32, so if you think this only affects older adults or seniors, think again. Common symptoms of depression include fatigue, irritability, lack of appetite or overeating, and a feeling of discouragement or hopelessness.
Living with hearing loss is a risk factor for depression by making you withdraw from society or increasing feelings of helplessness. You might not realize it, but hearing loss affects every area of your life.
If you want to reduce your risk of depression, or manage symptoms of depression, treating your hearing loss can make a huge difference in your life. Living with a hearing impairment affects your ability to communicate, harms relationships, and lowers your quality of life. When you can’t hear clearly, you’re more likely to feel frustrated, lonely, or dependent on someone else to help you with daily tasks. To start communicating again, save your friendships, regain independence, and reduce depression, a simple and effective step is treating your hearing loss.
Book a Hearing Test
If you struggle with depression, take the time to get a hearing test. Those few minutes could change your life forever. Call us at Neighborhood Hearing Aid Center to book an appointment for your or your loved one and see what a hearing aid can do for you. Treating hearing loss isn’t just about getting back the sounds you’ve been missing or being safer on the road. Treating your hearing will get you back to communicating easily with your loved ones and with your friends, repair relationships, and allow you to follow conversations anywhere, regardless of distracting background noises. With solid social support, you won’t have to face social isolation, or slide into feelings of hopelessness, or worse, depression.
Take the first step for your hearing health, and enjoy the benefits of clear hearing.