Hearing Loss and Depression
Everyone can likely agree that hearing loss and mental health are sometimes conversations that really want to have or admit if we're have a problem with. There's been several studies, however, that have linked untreated hearing loss and signs of depression.
Some of the reasons for this can include starting to pull back and withdraw from social settings and family engagements whenever we stop hearing our loved ones as well. Most people feel that "why would I want to go somewhere if I don't understand what's being said. I'm not catching the punchlines for the jokes. I don't know if they're talking about me because I can't hear or understand what's being said."
People with hearing loss can find it to be physically exhausting to try to have conversations in places where there is extra noise and things going on in the background.
Depression is one that's most prevalent in people the ages of 18 to 69. Depression in mild to moderate hearing loss was found to be double that of people with normal hearing levels.
It's important to know the signs. It's not only vital that your primary health physician recommends routine hearing screenings every year, but also having the conversation with them about if you're feeling like you're not wanting to go out into public places as much. If you're withdrawing from things you enjoy like church, going to the movies, or having lunch with friends and family, you should talk about this with your primary care physician as well as your hearing health care professional.
Not only is important for those of us who are feeling different with withdrawing, not wanting to be in public places, or experiencing sadness, it's also important for our friends and family members. If you know of someone who you notice is saying no to the invitations more often or you notice if they do go to events that they tend to isolate themselves from the group, these are possible signs of depression or hearing loss if they're not engaging like they used to.
Though it's prevalent, it is possible to minimize the links between depression and hearing loss.
One way is to get your annual hearing test completed with your hearing health care professional. Have an open dialogue primary care physician as well as friends and family members if there are certain places you feel like you can't communicate as well in as others. Maybe instead of going to a noisy, trendy restaurant, try picking a smaller bistro or cafe that you can carry on easier conversations.
While there have been found links between hearing loss and depression, it doesn't have to be that way. Early prevention and annual hearing tests will help tremendously with keeping you on both the hearing and healthy lifestyle.
I'm Denise Kopecki with Texan Renew Hearing Center here for your hearing health care.