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How does Hearing Loss Lead to Depression?

a man having his ears examined

Most will likely agree that both hearing health and mental health are important, but it wasn’t until recently that there has been finding that the two have a strong correlation with one and another. Hearing loss has been linked to depression. They are both conditions that are too often missed, unacknowledged or untreated by many health care professionals. What if this wasn’t the case? Could highlighting the connection between the two, improve mental health for the majority? 

What’s the connection? 

With reasonable ground, it’s easy to see why depression and hearing loss could go hand-in-hand. People who have hearing loss often find it more difficult to follow conversations and generally find communication more difficult. It can lead to fatigue, stress and a feeling of social isolation. Social isolation can lead to depression, especially more so in older adults. This can lead to a circle of confusion for people who are yet to be seen by an audiologist because either one or the other can be easily missed and left unconnected. 

This makes it important for you to learn about the signs of hearing loss as well as the signs of depression. 

Knowing the signs 

What can be done to help? It is important that physicians are not only recommending you have a routine hearing test, but they are also making sure they are familiar with the symptoms of depression so they are able to screen you accordingly. This applies even more so if you are going to see them with strong signs of hearing loss. It’s likely that you might be experiencing frustration, concern, and stress which is one of the reasons you have sought help, so make sure they are also paying attention to your mental health. 

Yes, some signs of depression are much more obvious such as sadness or feeling hopeless, however, signs like difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, loss of interest in hobbies and fatigue can have an even more effect on your life without it been noticed or picked up. They all interfere with your normal daily life and you might put it down to your hearing loss, but it is essential that you speak up about any other behavioral changes too. Some of the most likely people to notice these signs are your family and friends, so speak to them or take one of them to see your audiologist with you. 

How addressing the signs can help to prevent it

There can be many influences that trigger depression, hearing loss is one of the triggers that you could potentially remove. Wearing hearing aids doesn’t just help you to hear better, they can also help to improve your quality of life in other ways. This includes things like improving your relationships with family and friends, giving you a better feeling of independence and safety, improved relationships at work and also a better overall mental health. Sometimes there is aspects of depression that can be made worst from untreated hearing loss but seeing an audiologist and wearing hearing aids can help. 

Social isolation 

Having some hearing loss can sometimes make you want to avoid social situations where you know you are going to have to strain to listen or aren’t going to be able to follow the conversation properly. A night out or a family gathering may be daunting if it becomes a chore to be able to join in properly. At times you may also feel as though you are ignored or unwanted because unsupportive people in your life don’t recognize the difficulties you have. Avoiding communication and having a lack of support can significantly increase your likelihood of developing depression. However, wearing hearing aids can help you to get past this and give you the ability to enjoy social gatherings 

Chronic medical conditions

Hearing loss is usually a medical condition that can worsen as you age, and it’s like any other chronic condition. It can affect your ability to enjoy life the fullest. It can leave you feeling a little disconnected, especially if you struggle to keep up with conversations or hear the sounds you enjoy, such as the birds singing or music. Technology nowadays means that wearing hearing aids can help to alleviate this and although hearing-loss can be a life-altering occurrence with the right help from an audiologist you can stay clear of depression linked with your hearing loss. 

Sadness/anxiety/stress 

When you lose the ability to enjoy the sounds you used to take for granted, you can sometimes be left with different variations of sadness, anxiety and stress. They can all lead to depression, even if not linked to hearing loss. These are all reasons that hearing loss has been linked to depression, however, with the help of an audiologist and hearing aids you can help to prevent these feelings. 

If you want to know more about how depression is linked to hearing loss give Listen Hear Diagnostics a call at 347-450-9872