Hearing loss can have several hidden side effects, from emotional effects like depression to physical ones. Hearing loss can decrease spatial awareness and cause the brain to use more resources for hearing and interpreting speech and sound, so fewer resources go toward balance. These factors can make patients with hearing loss more likely to lose their balance and fall.
Studies have shown that 5% of the general population has depression, but 11% of people with hearing loss are depressed. This is most common among adults between the age of 18-69.
Seeking help for both hearing impairment and depression is vital. By comprehending the link and knowing the signs of hearing impairment and depression, one can take the appropriate actions to get the treatment they need. If one remains untreated, they can find themselves developing other, more severe side effects, like cognitive decline and dementia.
Understanding the link
Hearing loss impacts our ability to have conversations. We can struggle to hear what others are saying – especially in locations with a lot of background noise – and can struggle to communicate back. Group conversations can also be challenging. This frustration can make us stressed out and tired and feel socially isolated. This, in turn, can cause depression.
An audiologist can recommend a hearing aid that can help to treat hearing impairment. This can help reduce depression by helping you live a more regular life. Unfortunately, many people fail to realize that they have hearing issues and do not seek therapy. In other cases, people can put off seeking treatment for hearing problems. This can generate both hearing loss and depression to get a lot worse.
Knowing the signs
You can seek appropriate treatment by determining the hearing loss and depression signs.
There are many signs to look out for in the case of hearing loss. Do you find yourself regularly turning up the volume of the TV? Are you repeatedly telling people to repeat themselves or asking people to speak louder? Do you have a particular problem following conversations in crowded places with a lot of background noise? If the answer to these questions is yes, you probably have hearing loss. You can verify this with a hearing test done by an audiologist.
The indications of depression can be more personal but typically include a feeling of despair, a sense of tiredness, a lack of motivation for day-to-day duties, loss of appetite, or problem sleeping. In the case of hearing issues, you may feel a great sense of loneliness and hatred for social interaction due to not understanding people. You may even be encountering relationship troubles due to hearing issues and depression.
What you can do
If depression is the direct impact of hearing loss, you may be able to minimize this depression by seeking out hearing impairment treatment. An audiologist will arrange a hearing test to help measure the extent of the hearing loss to take the proper treatment. An ear machine may be able to help you hear better. There are various types of hearing aids, including devices that can be used to treat tinnitus.
You will feel more confident engaging in social interaction and following conversations more efficiently by hearing more clearly. This may help to relieve symptoms of depression. If you persist in feeling depressed, seeking treatment from a counselor alongside hearing loss treatment could be worth it.
On top of being prescribed an ear machine, there are other things that you can do to make day-to-day life more comfortable and to reduce depression. When meeting up with friends and relatives, pick places with little background noise, so following conversations is less of a struggle. Inform people that you have hearing loss so that they know to speak more slow and clear. By taking these steps and pushing yourself to be more social, you will feel less isolated.
Contact Hearing Plus, a hearing aid centre if you suffer from hearing loss.