There is a strong connection between mental health and hearing loss according to new studies.
And there’s something else that both of these disorders have in common – they frequently go overlooked and neglected by patients and health professionals. For millions of people who are searching for solutions to mental health problems, identifying this relationship could lead to potential improvements.
The impact of hearing loss on mental health has only been dealt with by a few studies even though hearing loss is very prevalent.
Out of all individuals who are diagnosed with hearing loss, studies show that over 11 percent of them also have clinical depression. Depression was only reported by 5 percent of the general population so this finding is significant. Depression was evaluated by the severity and frequency of the symptoms and a basic questionnaire based on self-reporting of hearing loss was utilized. They found depression was most prevalent in individuals between the ages of 18 and 69. Dr. Chuan-Ming Li, a scientist at NICDC and the author of this study, discovered “a significant connection between severe depression and hearing loss”.
Your Chance of Depression Doubles With Untreated Hearing Loss
Age related hearing loss is quite common in older individuals and, according to a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, the danger of depression goes up the worse the hearing loss is. After audiometric hearing testing, participants were evaluated for depression. Once more, researchers observed that people with even a little bit of hearing loss were almost two times as likely to experience depression. Even more startling, mild hearing loss frequently goes undiagnosed and untreated by many individuals over 70 which has also been demonstrated to increase the danger of cognitive decline and dementia. While the studies cannot prove that one is caused by the other, it is obvious that it is a contributor.
In order to communicate efficiently and continue to be active, hearing is crucial. Anxiety, embarrassment, and potential loss of self-confidence can be the outcome of the professional and social blunders that come with hearing loss. If not addressed, these feelings can lead to a steady withdrawal. People withdraw from family and friends and also from physical activity. This seclusion, over time, can result in depression and loneliness.
Hearing is About More Than Just Ears
Hearing loss and its association with depression underscores that hearing loss isn’t only about the ears. Your brain, your quality of life, healthy aging, and overall health are all impacted by your hearing. This emphasizes the crucial role of the hearing care professional within the scope of overall healthcare. People with hearing loss frequently deal with fatigue, confusion, and frustration.
The good news: The problem can be substantially improved by having a hearing test and treatment as soon as you notice hearing loss symptoms. These risks are greatly reduced, according to studies, with early treatment. It is vital that physicians recommend regular hearing examinations. After all, hearing loss isn’t the only thing a hearing exam can detect. And with individuals who might be coping with hearing loss, care providers need to watch for indications of depression. Common symptoms include difficulty focusing, fatigue, overall loss of interest, sadness, and loss of appetite.
Never neglect your symptoms. If you suspect you have hearing loss, call us to schedule a hearing test.