Understanding the Link Between Hearing Loss and Depression



Hearing loss can impact people's lives in several ways. Loss of hearing can cause complications at home and at work and affect their personal and professional relationships. In some people, hearing loss causes depression, which can negatively impact their quality of life. This article discusses how hearing loss and depression in adults are linked.

The Link Between Hearing Loss and Depression

People with hearing loss often find it difficult to engage in conversation with others, as it is harder to process sounds and words, causing fatigue and the desire to withdraw. Some people may manage the issue by asking others to speak louder, but others will choose to withdraw from the conversation.

Despite needing the company of friends and family, hearing loss can reduce a person’s ability to enjoy social interactions: as the patient has increasing difficulty determining what's being said, he or she can come to dread social interactions. These feelings can lead to withdrawal and isolation, which in turn can cause symptoms of depression.

What Does Research Say About Depression?

Reports by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders found that individuals suffering from hearing loss are 200% more at risk than others of developing symptoms of depression. Another study also connects hearing loss with depression among American adults, especially females and people below 70 years of age. Additionally, research conducted in 2019 also states that 20% of older adults with hearing loss experience symptoms of clinical depression.

How the Issue Can Be Addressed

If you have hearing loss, taking certain steps can help you manage the condition and prevent symptoms of depression. First, you’ll have to determine the source of your hearing loss. This will help you seek the appropriate treatment to mitigate the condition. If you’re experiencing temporary hearing loss due to earwax problems, you can go to an ear specialist to get the excess earwax removed. However, if you have permanent hearing loss, then you may need hearing aids to manage the condition.

Getting an appropriate diagnosis will also help your audiologist determine the right treatment plan for you and tell you how to proceed with it. Proper hearing loss treatments can often help restore your hearing to the point where social interactions no longer pose any strain. You can live your life as it was before your hearing was impacted.

Additionally, doctors are also able to diagnose symptoms of depression in the early stages. This helps them devise an appropriate treatment plan and effectively manage symptoms. Remember that the earlier you seek treatment, the faster your hearing loss can be managed. Contact your audiologist as soon as possible when you experience any hearing loss issues.

Consult with Hoffmann Audiology

Are you or your loved ones experiencing symptoms of hearing loss? Schedule an appointment today at Hoffmann Audiology with our expert audiologist Dr. Hoffmann. She can accurately determine the cause of your hearing loss and develop a personalized plan to restore your hearing.

 


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Chris Lin Hoffmann

Dr. Chris Hoffmann is an audiologist who has been involved in hearing sciences for over 20 years. Her passion for helping people with their hearing led her to establish Hoffmann Audiology hearing clinic. Dr. Hoffmann has more than 14 years of clinical knowledge in hearing testing, hearing aid fittings, and aural rehabilitation.

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