Often, people dismiss hearing loss as a minor inconvenience. In fact, many adults will do their best to ignore the signs of hearing loss until their hearing has become significantly impaired. Yet, a side effect of hearing loss that is not often factored in is how hearing impairment can cause depression.
But those individuals with hearing loss don’t have to just accept that they need to live with that condition and depression. Instead, with the help of our hearing instrument specialist here at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming, you can find the right hearing aids to help you fight depression and correct your hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Can Trigger Depression
In an interesting study that looked at individuals 18 years old and older—rather than seniors alone, which is common with hearing loss-related studies—researchers found that there was a significant connection between depression and hearing loss. However, the degree of hearing loss was a clear variable.
Oddly enough, those participants who identified at deaf did not experience the same levels of depression as those individuals who had some range of hearing loss. Also, those participants who had a little hearing loss or a great deal of hearing loss both experienced the highest rates of depression.
Another interesting statistic that the study put forward was that women experienced higher rates of depression-induced hearing loss. The researchers speculated that this gender divide was due to social expectations that are applied to women and not men.
So, now that you can see that there is a distinct link between depression and hearing loss, it is time to discuss why hearing loss can trigger depression.
For those who have suffered from hearing loss, it can be hard to relearn how to connect and communicate with others, especially without hearing aids. It is not uncommon for those with untreated hearing loss to feel self-conscious about their hearing impairment and withdraw socially to avoid being embarrassed or a conversational burden.
Interestingly, the social isolation aspect of hearing impairment also makes sense why those who are deaf do not feel the same depression and isolation. As the deaf community has their own sign languages that allow them to communicate with other speakers of their language, it makes sense that their lack of hearing has less of an impact than on those who rely on spoken communication. Hearing aids help to bridge this gap.
Paired with social isolation, communication in general is difficult for those with hearing loss. As communication is one of the key ways people connect with each other, it is not surprising that having difficulty communicating can trigger depression.
This communication impediment impacts not only personal relationships but all aspects of a person’s life. From talking to the cashier at the grocery store to consulting with coworkers, with hearing loss impacting a person’s ability to hear and respond appropriately, it makes sense that this difficulty can lead to depression. Yet, the sooner hearing aids are used, the easier it will become to communicate more effectively.
Untreated hearing loss can lead to decreased cognitive ability. The brain is negatively impacted when less sound is transmitted by the auditory system, losing grey matter and shrinking. This process can increase cognitive decline risks and can ultimately lead to dementia.
It is fairly clear why this particular downside of hearing loss can lead to depression. But, by using hearing aids, this process can be halted and potentially averted altogether.
Why Hearing Aids Help With Depression
You may not suffer from all the depression-inducing side-effects of untreated hearing loss. But if you want to lower your odds even further, using hearing aids is one of the best ways to fight depression symptoms caused by hearing loss.
For one thing, hearing aids can help halt progressive hearing loss as they can reduce the strain of hearing. Struggling to hear what is going on around you can not only be stressful on you emotionally, but it takes a toll on your already reduced hearing. With the right pair of hearing aids to help, you can have that strain drastically reduced.
Along with the reduction of strain, hearing aids allow you to communicate more easily. For instance, losing high-frequency hearing is common, which makes it difficult to hear those with higher-pitched voices like women and children. With properly programmed hearing aids from our audiologists, you can regain your lost hearing range and communicate more easily with everyone in your life.
As you can more easily communicate, you won’t feel the need to skip out on social events such as meeting friends for lunch or having family over. Instead, hearing aids will allow you to hone in on the conversations you have with others around, instead of your hearing being overwhelmed with too many sounds to enjoy being with others.
While hearing aids aren’t a cure-all for depression, it can correct a lot of hearing-related depression triggers.
Have A Free Hearing Evaluation At Modern Hearing Solutions Of Wyoming
It can be difficult to tell if you have hearing loss on your own. Yet, since the side-effects of hearing loss are serious, it is best not to guess when it comes to your hearing.
To make it easier to determine if you need hearing aids, you can have a free hearing evaluation here at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming.
If you would like to schedule your complimentary hearing test or other hearing services, feel free to contact us today to set up your appointment. We have two convenient locations to help you access the hearing services you need.