Depression and hearing loss are connected because of the effects that hearing loss can have on one’s ability to enjoy life. For example, if you have hearing loss, you may have started noticing that it’s more difficult to carry conversations with your family and friends. In fact, your family members may have even pointed out how hard is it to talk to you.
Unfortunately, these experiences can sometimes lead people with hearing loss to feel hopeless. In other words, because hearing loss significantly impacts one’s ability to communicate, a person with hearing loss may resort to social isolation.
If this sounds familiar to you, your untreated hearing loss may be causing you to experience depression. The good news is that, while hearing loss can cause depression, many cases of hearing loss are treatable.
What Should You Know about Depression?
If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone. Over 450 million people worldwide suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization. While moderate to severe depression exists, the most common form of depression is Major Depressive Disorder, which affects over 15 million adults per year in the U.S. alone.
Each type of depression has its own definition and distinct set of symptoms. However, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) notes the following as general symptoms of depression:
- Persistent sadness
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in activities that one used to enjoy
- Abnormal eating behaviors
- Suicidal ideation
Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, depression often goes untreated. Nevertheless, there are many options available for individuals who wish to seek help. While there is no cure for depression, it can be addressed through therapy, medication, or a combination of the two.
For support and other resources, please visit the ADAA website.
How are Depression and Hearing Loss Related?
Researchers have little debate when it comes to the relationship between hearing loss and depression. Since hearing loss can make interacting with others difficult, individuals with hearing loss are more likely to withdraw from participating in social activities and, thus, experience depression. Depression resulting from hearing loss should be taken seriously, as it has the ability to translate into suicidal ideation, as shown by research.
In 2018, a study was conducted on 415 participants in order to explore the relationship between hearing loss and social exclusion, mental health, and suicidal ideation. The researchers found positive a relationship between suicidal ideation and social exclusion, mental health issues, and severity of hearing loss. In simpler terms, the more severe the case of hearing loss, the more likely a person is to experience depression.
In contrast, in 2017, another study was conducted to determine if hearing aids or cochlear implants could reduce depressive symptoms. The researchers compared the depressive symptoms of the 113 participants at the onset of the study to their symptoms one year later. Results showed that participants’ depressive symptoms significantly improved with the help of hearing aids or cochlear implants. In other words, improving one’s hearing can successfully aid in reducing one’s depressive symptoms.
What if I Have Depression Caused by Hearing Loss?
As illustrated by research, hearing loss can lead to depression, but most forms of hearing loss can be significantly alleviated by using hearing aids. If you suspect that you may be suffering from depression caused by your hearing loss, improve your quality of life by improving your hearing today.
Since 1996, Advanced Affordable Hearing has provided hearing aids for people like you at prices you can afford. We’re excited to help you select hearing aids that fit your specific hearing loss, lifestyle, and budget. To get started, visit our Online Hearing Check.
To order your very own pair of hearing aids, call or e-mail us now.