Although hearing loss is commonly associated with aging, it affects people of all ages in vast numbers. And with hearing loss comes many mental health risks, especially if the hearing loss is left untreated. A recent study found that hearing loss increases the risk of depression in adults of all ages but is most problematic in 18-to 69-year olds.
A separate study in Italy revealed that working adults aged 35 to 55 years old with untreated mild to moderate hearing loss tended to experience more depression, anxiety, and interpersonal struggles than those without hearing issues.
The link between untreated hearing loss and depression is troubling, but the good news is that hearing aids have been proven to provide relief. Research has shown that adverse mental health symptoms are alleviated in those who take steps to treat their hearing loss with hearing aids.
Five ways that treating your hearing loss will improve your mental health:
It’s great to hear those frequencies again, but that’s not all there is. Here are just a few ways that treating hearing loss can help keep a person happy and healthy overall.
Treatment can improve your quality of life. One of the most important things a person can do to stay happy and have a good quality of life is to treat their hearing loss. Your relationships and mental health can suffer when you don’t do anything about hearing loss. Hearing loss is often linked to other physical and mental health problems, such as decreased safety and mobility, social withdrawal, psychological pain, and even higher risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Treatment can help keep moods stable. People with severe hearing loss who don’t get treatment can often feel frustrated, anxious, angry, stressed, tired, and alone. Research shows that a person’s mental health improves dramatically once they get hearing aids to treat their hearing loss. Many say they feel more emotionally stable, have a better sense of self-worth, feel safer and more independent, and find it easier to make friends. In short, their quality of life as a whole is improving.
Treatment can improve your confidence. A lack of confidence can make it harder for a person to do the things they used to enjoy, to do well at work, to keep relationships going, and to be happy with their lives. Hearing loss can make it hard to communicate, which can hurt a person’s confidence. Hearing aids, on the other hand, can help a lot with that. Hearing aids have been shown to help people feel less critical of themselves and more confident in their daily interactions, even if their hearing loss is mild.
Treatment can improve your relationship with the people you love. Hearing aids make it possible for people to talk again. Friendships, family ties, romantic relationships, and working relationships depend on how well people can talk to each other. This can lead to the person becoming more social than they would be without hearing treatment. The good news is that it has been shown that treating hearing loss can open up new lines of communication and help people reconnect with each other. In a study by the Better Hearing Institute, almost seven out of ten people said they could communicate better in most situations, and more than half said that their relationships at home, in social situations, and at work had improved.
Hearing aids are better than ever before. In the last few years, technological advances have made hearing aids more comfortable, less noticeable, and able to do more things than ever before. Many devices are almost invisible, like your smartphone, and some can even be recharged. Hearing aids are also much better at focusing on speech and cutting down on background noise. They also give you more ways to customize them to fit your needs in different environments with different sounds.
And last but not least, the best hearing aids of today are wireless. This means you can easily connect them to your favorite devices and stream music, conversations, TV, and more directly to your ears at the perfect volume. In a nutshell, hearing aids today are made to help people live the active, healthy, and connected lives they want without worry.
There’s no reason to live with hearing loss that hasn’t been fixed! If your hearing has changed, call us to set up an appointment.