Your Mental Health and Hearing Loss
Who would ever think a little thing like hearing loss could have such a large impact on your mental health. Nearly 48 million Americans in Green Valley, AZ and throughout the country suffer from hearing loss, but only one in five of them actually seeks treatment. The number of individuals living with untreated hearing loss is mind blowing.
Untreated hearing loss can cut individuals off from the rest of the world. This isolation can lead to a number of mental health disorders from depression and anxiety to loneliness and frustration.
Hearing Loss Associated with Depression
A study by theNational Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) found that moderate to severe depression occurs in 11.4 percent of adults with hearing loss, compared to only 5.9 percent in those without hearing loss. They also found that these feelings of depression are much stronger in women.
Seniors with hearing loss are very susceptible to feelings of loneliness and social isolation. Often, it seems easier to just choose to avoid social situations instead of becoming increasingly frustrated when they cannot understand the world around you. The National Council on the Aging (NCOA) conducted a study that determined that those who used their hearing instruments were “more socially active and avoided periods of depression, worry, paranoia and insecurity compared to non-users with hearing loss.”
Cognitive decline is another serious problem for those with untreated hearing loss. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that the individuals with severe hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia, compared to those with moderate hearing loss. Additional research is still being conducted to prove hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline or dementia; at the moment all studies have been able to do is show that there may be a correlation.
If you or a loved one is beginning to show signs of hearing loss, don’t wait. Now is the time to contact your Green Valley audiologist to schedule an appointment.