Untreated Hearing Loss Can Lead to Depression

Study Shows a Link Between Depression and Untreated Hearing Loss

There are over 38 million U.S. residents with hearing loss, and not all of them are older Americans. About 7% of the nation’s teenagers have permanent hearing loss due to noise exposure. Unfortunately, simply “turning the volume down” on personal listening devices may not be enough to stop the effects of hearing loss—and when it comes to mental health, the damage may already be done.

Hearing Loss Can Lead to Depression and Withdrawal

The National Council on Aging has published a study emphasizing the need for treating hearing loss, no matter how minor. Dr. James Firman, the President and CEO of the National Council on Aging, reports that untreated hearing loss can lead to serious consequences.

According to Dr. Firman, “The survey of 2,300 hearing impaired adults ages 50 and older found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety, and paranoia and were less likely to participate in organized social activities, compared to those who wear hearing aids.” Dr. Firman further states, “This study debunks the myth that untreated hearing loss in older persons is a harmless condition.”

This is not new information to audiologists who regularly see patients with untreated hearing loss. Many first time hearing aid users report an increase in socialization and family interactions, and that being able to be part of a conversation is refreshing and relaxing. Family members report a renewed interest in outside activities once their loved one is fitted with hearing aids.

Fortunately, Baby Boomers are recognizing the need for hearing tests and the necessity for hearing aids.  Many Baby Boomers are reluctant to retire, and need to understand conversations in meetings and at social gatherings. High frequency hearing loss can cause trouble with understanding speech in noisy situations, causing those who do retire to withdraw socially because it is too difficult to follow the conversations.

Depression is real. Hearing loss is real. Do not let a treatable problem rule your life! Our board-certified audiologists can perform a comprehensive and pain-free hearing examination, allowing you to preserve the natural hearing ability you have left and continue to do the things that to you most. Call the number on this page or fill out our online contact form to make an appointment in our offices today!