Can hearing loss cause depression?
- Last Updated: Oct 9th, 2018
Yes, hearing loss cause depression. Generally, people with untreated hearing loss get some mental problem such as depression, anxiety, anger and frustration, emotional instability and paranoia. They avoid organized social activities. The level of depression and mental condition increased with the severity of hearing loss. According to the national council on the Aging (NCOA). The untreated hearing loss has major or serious emotional and social effects for older persons.
Various reasons for hearing loss cause depression:
- Communication and social interactions become a source of stress. When someone has to strain to hear others speak, frequent misunderstandings result in embarrassment.
- People with untreated hearing loss avoid social situations that involve loud surroundings around them. They avoid parties or crowded restaurants where understanding speech difficult.
- Older patients may feel their hearing loss is a signal that they are simply too old to participate in social activities.
- Cutting oneself off from society and activities is a red flag for depression.
Facts or risk of patients with hearing loss that lead to depression:
- In a study conducted on Generation X and Baby Boomer patients with an untreated hearing loss. The participants of a study found to develop depression and other psychological issues than their hearing peers.
- Another large study of adults 50 and older with untreated hearing loss get depression and other emotional and mental instabilities and were significantly less socially active than their peers who wore hearing aids.
- The study show depression and other similar disorders were found to worsen as hearing ability declined.
- Patients with untreated hearing loss get difficulty to communicate with others, avoidance of social interaction with friends and family. Isolation is a known contributor to depression.
- The depression in older adults has been associated with the development of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Which is also a co-morbidity of hearing loss.
- Along with depression, patients with untreated hearing loss experience anxiety, paranoia, relationship problems, stress, and other negative emotions.
- Using hearing aids can significantly improve emotional and cognitive conditions in patients over the age of 65.9
- 36% of patients who begin wearing hearing aids experienced improved overall mental health, while 34% increased their social engagement.
- Despite the fact that hearing aids can help improve patients’ lives, the average span of time from a patient realization of hearing loss to purchase of hearing aids is eight years.
Some studies of older adults who have been using a hearing aid shown a reduction in depression and improved quality of life. Another study (by the National Council on Aging) shown that the individual who has hearing loss but does not use a hearing aid reported anxiety, depression, worry etc. It is not like that if someone has hearing loss, he will experience depression but it is worth consideration. Quality of life of individuals with hearing loss can be improved if depression is identified.