If you suffer from hearing loss in Tucson, your risk of developing other health conditions is higher – especially if you don’t take steps to treat your impairment. There are a number of physical, social and psychological side effects of hearing loss; one of the leading conditions is depression.
How Does Hearing Loss Lead to Depression?
When you struggle to follow conversations due to hearing loss, you’re likely to experience stress, anxiety, fatigue and social isolation – an emotional combination that can be a recipe for depression. Multiple studies have confirmed this correlation; the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) release a study that found 11.4 percent of people with hearing loss suffered from depression; by contrast, 7.1 percent of those with good hearing and 4.9 percent of individuals with excellent hearing experienced depression. The highest rates of depression were found in adults aged 18 to 69. Research teams in Italy and Australia have uncovered similar results.
Compounding the problem? Those who suffer from hearing loss are less likely to participate in social activities, which only serves to worsen the problem.
Recognizing depression early is important. Sadness and feelings of hopelessness are the most obvious signs, while others can be trickier to spot. Fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating and a loss of interest in hobbies and other once-enjoyable activities can all be symptoms of depression. Friends and family members should be on the lookout for these and other signs.
Treating Depression with Hearing Aids
In order to lessen the odds of depression, it’s crucial to treat hearing loss as early as possible. Your Tucson audiologist says the following guidelines, established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, are helpful in determining when a person might be suffering from a hearing impairment.
- Difficulty understanding speech, especially when background noise is present.
- The individual isolates him- or herself from social gatherings and public situations.
- They watch television or listen to music at a much louder volume than normal.
- They often ask people to repeat themselves.
Should you a loved one be experiencing any of these signs, you should schedule a hearing evaluation with a Tucson audiologist as soon as possible.
There’s actually a very simple solution to treating depression, one that will benefit most patients with hearing loss anyway: hearing aids. Researchers at the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics found that every single patient who wore hearing aids showed solid improvements in psychosocial and cognitive conditions in just three months.
The negative effects of mental health are far-reaching. Anybody experiencing depression should seek treatment right away. Even mild forms of hearing loss can increase the risk of negative emotional experiences.