Hearing Aids Are Found to Improve Depressive Symptoms

Hearing solutions

Hearing loss is a serious condition affecting an estimated 48 million people of all ages in the US alone. Classily underdiagnosed and underestimated, hearing loss has a wide reach of negative health effects which often start with how we communicate with others. Surprisingly this can cascade into every aspect of our mental emotional and physical health. While hearing loss is a permanent condition, the good news is that is can be effectively treated. The most common treatment is hearing aids which not only improve communication and a sense of sound around us but may just cure depressive symptoms associated with them.

Living with depression

Everyone can have a bad day, every now and again, but for those who are depressed, those feelings of sadness never seem to end. Many make the mistake that depression is just sadness but in truth research suggests it is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression makes everyday tasks feel overwhelming and can sap the motivation to do anything at all. Over 14 million people in the US are diagnosed with clinical depression annually. While seniors are incredibly susceptible to depression due to retirement, loss of loved ones and complications from health conditions, the average age of onset is only 32. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite or overeating, lack of stamina, and abrupt mood changes.

Hearing loss and depression

It’s all too common for those who are depressed to avoid social situations all together. This is often where the intersection between hearing loss and depression occurs. When hearing loss sets in it interrupts the delivery of certain sounds to the brain. This can make conversation difficult to follow. If you were once a social person who enjoyed connecting with others in big groups or one on one, you may find yourself particularly affected. Where there was once joy in socializing with others, in its place is frustration and exhaustion as you struggle to hear through conversations. You may find yourself choosing the withdraw from friends, family members and even your significant other. Moments of intimacy become less and less common as both people in a relationship, one with hearing loss and one without, often report feeling alone, even with each other. 

Addressing hearing loss

If you’re not sure what’s causing your depression, it’s time to get your hearing checked. Alarmingly you may have a hearing loss and not even know. This is because hearing loss often develops slowly over years or even decades. Your brain may adapt to the loss but it doesn’t mean it’s not affecting your ability to connect to the people throughout your life. It’s a good idea to screen for hearing loss regularly. With the properly prescribed and fitted pair of hearing aids, you may find you are able to connect to the people in your life with significant ease.

Hearing loss treatment to address depressive symptoms.

To connect hearing loss and depression on a clinical level, researchers at Johns Hopkins University investigated how treating hearing loss may impact mental health. In a relatively small study the researchers analyzed data from more than 100 seniors who had both hearing loss and depression who were in the process addressing that loss with hearing aids or a cochlear implants. 

The findings showed that participants reported depressive symptoms significantly reduced after 6 months of using hearing aids! This was attributed to improved social interactions enhancing the cohort’s quality of life. Participants also reported improved mental health, gained self-confidence, and far fewer depressive symptoms. For the participants who continued to wear their hearing aids, they continued to report positive benefit. 

Support healthy hearing with hearing aids

If you’ve been struggling to connect to the people in your life it is possible that an undiagnosed hearing loss may be part of the issue. It’s always a good idea to your your hearing tested- especially if you feel like you may be struggling to hear people in large groups or at home. Schedule a hearing exam with us today and we can help to find the best device which can help to enhance your contact with loved ones, restore your social confidence, and improve your overall quality of life.