When you think about it, the fact that there is a link between hearing loss and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety is not surprising.
When you have hearing loss, it can be frustrating when you can’t follow the conversation, which causes many to become socially isolated, a well-known risk factor for depression. In addition, stressing about missing any important information and not being able to respond appropriately causes anxiety for many. Fortunately, hearing aids have been shown to improve mental health for people with hearing loss.
Below we review the link between hearing loss and mental health problems and discuss the benefits of using hearing aids.
Hearing Loss Is Linked to Depression
A number of studies have established a strong link between hearing loss and depression.
- One 2014 study found that 11.4% of adults with hearing loss have moderate to severe depression, while 19.1% exhibit mild depressive symptoms. This is considerably higher than the rate of the general population, which is 6.7%.
- A more recent study from 2019 found that as many as one in five older adults with hearing loss have clinical depression.
- One survey evaluated 2,3000 adults over age 50 who had hearing loss. They found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, paranoia and social isolation compared to those who wore hearing aids.
How Hearing Aids Can Help
Hearing aids improve many aspects of quality of life, which can help improve mental health.
People Who Wear Hearing Aids Report Lower Rates of Depression
The same survey cited above also found that for those with severe hearing loss, 30% of those who went untreated reported feelings of sadness compared to just 22% of those who did seek treatment.
Hearing Aids Improve Quality of Life
The survey also found that:
- 56% of respondents had better relations at home after seeking treatment.
- 50% had better feelings about themselves.
- 48% reported overall improvement in their life.
- 40% improved their relations with children and grandchildren.
- 39% had greater self-confidence.
- 36% saw improvements in mental health.
- 34% felt a greater sense of safety.
- 34% had better social lives.
- 26% improved relations at work.
If you’re ready to enjoy visits with family at Loma Linda Park without feeling left out of the conversation, call the experts at Arizona Desert ENT Specialists today.