Having hearing loss can increase your risk of developing other health conditions. Research has shown that seniors with hearing loss may be at a higher risk of depression. Let’s examine why this is, as well as what can be done to reduce the risk.
The Link Between Hearing Loss and Depression
Multiple studies have found a link between hearing loss and an increase in feelings of depression. One study published in 2019 found that hearing loss was significantly linked with depressive symptoms in adults 50 and older.
The more severe the hearing loss, the more likely a person was to experience symptoms of depression. Specifically, the study found that “the odds of having clinically significant depressive symptoms increased approximately 45% for every 20-dB increase in hearing loss.”
Why This Happens
Hearing loss can be a very isolating condition. It makes it harder to socialize because your ears and brain have to work harder to hear and process speech. This can lead to quicker and more frequent listening fatigue, in addition to feelings of frustration and feeling left out of the conversation when others are talking.
Eventually, many people with hearing loss start to cut back or completely avoid social activities and begin to isolate themselves from others. This can put a strain on relationships and lead to increased feelings of loneliness and depression.
Hearing Aids May Reduce Risk of Depression in Seniors
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids makes it significantly easier for you to understand what others are saying. This leads to lower levels of mental fatigue and reduces the feelings of frustration and anxiety that come with being worried you won’t be able to follow conversations. Therefore, it stands to reason that using hearing aids can help stave off depression associated with hearing loss in seniors.
If you are over 50 or have noticed that you are having problems hearing, schedule an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing test. These tests will give immediate insight into the cause and severity of your hearing loss and help your audiologist select the right pair of hearing aids for you.
Once you adjust to your new way of hearing, you’ll see how much easier hearing aids make it to socialize and stay connected to others. They benefit you at work, home and when doing the things you love, like meeting up with your craft group at the Murray Senior Recreation Center.
If you would like more information about hearing loss or wish to schedule an appointment, call South Valley Ear Nose & Throat today.