Depression is a common affliction. Sometimes people don’t talk about it. If you or your loved one have ever suffered from even mild depression it may be related to hearing loss. Getting your hearing checked can be a first step towards resolving this. Restoring your hearing to a good level will restore your quality of life and may help cure depression.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think, and how you act. They found;
- Depression is a chronic disease that must be monitored
- The causes of depression may involve a combination of genetic, biological, psychological and environmental factors
If you haven’t suffered from depression before you may not recognise the symptoms. Ask yourself: over the last two weeks have I felt depressed or hopeless? Have I lost interest or pleasure in doing things? If your, or your loved one’s, answer is ‘Yes’, you should think about getting professional help. This may be related to hearing loss.
As early as 1990 research published found that hearing aids are a successful treatment for reversing social, emotional, and communication dysfunctions caused by hearing impairment. Further research found that hearing aids may lead to improvements in cognition and depression.
In 2013 a study of over 1,000 people in their 70s who had completed audiometric testing and screening for depression found that nearly 60% of the participants had a more than 25 decibels hearing loss, and 7% met the criteria for a depressive disorder. One explanation hearing care professionals can offer you is that audiological treatment helps promote social engagement and so reduces depressive symptoms.
In 2016, researchers at Johns Hopkins tracked people using hearing aids. They found that greater loneliness was associated with people with hearing loss. They also found that increased communication difficulties, and poorer emotional well-being were all moderately or highly correlated with loneliness.
Leading a good life is, in large part, dependent on the quality of your social relationships and interactions. For you to be happy and flourish you need to have positive and meaningful personal relationships. If you are an extrovert with hearing impairment you will miss lively chats and laughs with friends and strangers, family and others. If you are an introvert then hearing loss may hold you back even more from communicating with other people.