Hearing loss can have many effects that reach beyond hearing. Studies show that hearing loss can contribute to the development of depressive symptoms, impacting mental health and wellness.
Over 48 million people have hearing loss which reduces capacity to hear and process speech as well as sound. This produces various symptoms that often take a toll on hearing and communication. Strained communication can impact relationships and one’s social life as people tend to withdraw to avoid conversations. This contributes to greater isolation and other depressive symptoms. Fortunately, there are effective ways hearing loss is treated. A common treatment option is hearing aids which significantly support hearing. Studies have shown that hearing aids can improve depressive symptoms and boost mental health.
Link Between Untreated Hearing Loss & Depression
Substantial research shows that hearing loss can increase the risk of developing depressive symptoms. A significant study that explores this correlation involved researchers analyzing data provided from a national health survey. This data included responses from a questionnaire that assessed depressive symptoms, hearing test results, and self-reported hearing loss related information for 18,318 people. Researchers found that the prevalence of moderate to severe depression was
- 4.9% for individuals reporting excellent hearing
- 11.4% for people who reported a little to greater hearing loss
This data shows that people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms compared those without hearing loss. These findings show that hearing loss has an impact on social wellness and mental health. Social withdrawal is a common effect of hearing loss which often means spending less time with loved ones, skipping out on social events and gatherings, and participating less in favorite activities or hobbies. This contributes to depressive symptoms and can take a toll on mental health, wellness, and happiness.
Hearing Aids Improve Depressive Symptoms
Hearing aids are the most common way hearing loss is treated. They are electronic devices that provide the ears and brain with ample support. This alleviates hearing loss symptoms adn maximizes a person’s hearing capacity. With greater ability to hear, hearing aids offer countless benefits including strengthening communication, improving relationships, enriching social life, and enhancing overall health. This improves health adn quality of life in many ways including improving depressive symptoms.
Studies show that hearing aids contribute to wellness, alleviating depressive symptoms. This includes a study that assessed the impact of hearing aids and cochlear implants on depressive symptoms in older adults. Researchers evaluated 113 participants, ages 50 and older who received hearing aids or cochlear implants and were assessed at the 6 month and 1 year mark. Researchers found that among hearing aid users, depressive symptoms improved by:
- 28% after 6 months of wearing hearing aids
- depressive symptoms continued to decrease, by 16% at the 12 month mark
These findings highlight that hearing aids significantly alleviate depressive symptoms. This data supports further research showing how hearing aids boost mental health and wellness. Hearing aids do this by supporting hearing needs in everyday environments. This allows people to navigate conversations, settings, and activities with greater ease. People are better able to engage with others and participate comfortably. Hearing aids also support effective communication. These benefits improve relationships and support active and engaged lifestyles.
Prioritize Hearing Health Today
Treating hearing loss can transform your everyday life. The first step you can take is simple: schedule an appointment to have your hearing test evaluated. Facilitated by a hearing healthcare specialist, hearing tests involve a painless process that measures hearing capacities in both ears. This identifies any hearing loss, the type, and degree of impairment in each ear. Once your hearing needs are tested, your hearing healthcare provider is able to tailor treatment to meet those needs.
Similar to most electronic devices today, hearing aids have experienced much innovation in recent years. There is a range of styles, features, and technologies that are designed to deliver the best sound quality and connectivity. Many hearing aids have award winning designs that easily integrate into daily life. Your hearing healthcare provider will help you navigate your options, ensuring that you choose a device that is optimal for your hearing and lifestyle needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation, we look forward to helping you prioritize your hearing health and wellness.