Anxiety, Depression and Hearing Loss

woman with a headache and stress

As you already know, your mental health plays a major role in your life. This affects multiple aspects of how you navigate your day-to-day activities. Everyone has days where they’re not feeling tip-top, and this can be accompanied by feelings such as fatigue, sadness, irritability, anxiety and many others. Sometimes this happens due to personal situations like work, while other times it can be due to lack of sleep.

These sorts of emotions are very relatable but they can become a problem if it’s consistent, in fact, it can be a serious problem. 

It’s important to get your hearing checked annually by your local audiologist as your hearing health has great importance, this will not only affect your physical health, but it can impact your mental health too. When people are struggling to hear, communication becomes a great challenge for them. The feeling of loneliness, insecurity, and isolation then begins to follow.

What is the Link Between Mental Health and Hearing Loss?

There are more than 9.5 million senior-aged citizens in the U.S. that are affected by hearing loss, this number is even bigger for those who are older than 45 years of age. Those without hearing aids are believed to suffer more from mental health. So, is there any research that backs up the claim that hearing loss and depression are linked? 

There is plenty of research that does show a connection between hearing loss and mental health declines such as depression and anxiety. A study in 2019 showed connections between hearing loss and depression and this was more significant for older adults past 50. About one in five older hearing-impaired adults had symptoms of clinical depression.

What are Some Signs of Mental Health Issues Caused by Untreated Hearing Loss?

While hearing loss is a natural part of the aging process, it is something that can be pushed off or even treated through an audiologist, provided tests, and even hearing tools such as a hearing aid. Even though hearing loss is common, it doesn’t mean that anyone mentally suffer from the effects of it. So, what are some of the signs of hearing impairments? What are some signs that this could be causing anxiety and depression? Many people believe that paranoia, irritability, and struggling to follow along with conversations is just a natural part of old age.

They’re not and these all could be a result due to hearing loss. Some of the signs of hearing loss can include loud volume for electronics such as the TV or phone, asking someone to repeat themselves, and withdrawing from social situations. If you or a loved one are showing some of these signs then it’s important to get them an appointment with an audiologist as soon as possible. Treating this condition could result in an increase of positive mental health.

How Can You Help Prevent these Two Connections?

Hearing loss and mental health are primarily linked through the lack of communication and the feelings of loneliness, irritability, sorrow, paranoia, sadness, and insecurity. If you’re trying to socialize and you’re struggling to hear what someone is telling you, it is understandable why your emotions may spiral downwards. But it’s important to know that there can be improvements. It just all starts with your hearing health.

Working on having better hearing health is going to help out patients in improving their relationships through better communication, being in a good mood, and overall, just removing all of those feelings of paranoia.

Tips to Improve Your Hearing and Mental Health

If you’re dealing with both of these issues in your daily life then you need to begin seeing an audiologist. An audiologist can help you get to the bottom of what is causing your hearing issues, and they’ll do what they can to find treatments. Whether you’re losing your hearing, have tinnitus, or even feel pressure from within your ears, they can help. So, what are some of the treatment options that audiologists offer to their patients? Some can include:

  • Hearing aids are known for being the most common treatment for hearing-impairment issues. Hearing aids can help hearing become a lot easier which then can result in an improvement of social, emotional, and psychological quality of life.
  • Assistive listening devices, a small headset that connects to electronics to improve hearing.
  • Auditory training, rehabilitative audiology that audiologists will do to help individuals with their hearing loss. It essentially trains the brain to listen.

There are other forms of treatment that an audiologist will use, but these are the three most common. If you or a loved one is struggling with hearing loss and you’re noticing a decline in mental health, just know that it’s not too late to get started on improving it. A team of experts at Sound Advice is here to help you. To learn more about us, please call (856) 454-8861, so we can discuss what we can do for you.