How does Hearing Loss Lead to Depression?
There are many things that can trigger mental health issues such as depression, and one that may be overlooked at times is a deterioration in a person’s hearing health.
One of the unfortunate factors of both mental health issues and hearing loss is that they can both go undiagnosed for a very long time. As a result of this, they can go untreated by healthcare professionals.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are steps that can be taken to weaken the link between hearing health and depression.
In this article, we’ll discuss the connection between mental and hearing health, how hearing loss can lead to depression. We’ll also discuss what you can do to reduce the impact that hearing loss has on your mental health.
What is the link between hearing loss and depression?
On the face of it, it may seem like a leap to link mental health issues such as depression with hearing loss. Hearing loss can make communicating a significant challenge. Those experiencing hearing loss will find trying to understand other people both tiring and isolating.
The struggle to follow conversations and the worries over mishearing other people can lead to stress and a feeling of loneliness. Over time, these emotions can build up to become problematic mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
Very often, as hearing loss goes undetected for quite a long time, it can be hard to even spot the start of depression related to hearing health.
What are the signs that you should be aware of?
One of the most common symptoms of hearing loss that will appear gradually is the inability to hear everything that people are saying, particularly in noisy environments. If you find that you very often fail to follow the flow of conversations between groups of people, yet others seem to cope fine, then you may have a degree of sensorineural hearing loss.
There may be other times that you struggle to hear. In one-to-one conversations without background noise, you may miss words that people say. You may put this down to the speaker not being loud enough or not speaking clearly. However, if you start to see a pattern where this happens more frequently, then you may be experiencing hearing loss.
The signs that you may be experiencing depression linked to your hearing loss will include irritability, a loss of interest in your hobbies, problems with sleep, changes in appetite along with a desire to withdraw from social activities and spend less time around the people you’re close to.
What steps can you take to look after your hearing health?
If you start to notice that you’re struggling to hear certain parts of conversations, it is important to identify this before it starts to cause you to feel isolated and also before it brings about feelings of stress and depression.
Book a hearing test with an audiologist. A hearing test is an important part of assessing the level of hearing loss than you may be experiencing.
During a hearing test, your audiologist will ask you some questions about your health and lifestyle. There will be several tests to measure your ability to hear.
There will be specific frequencies and types of sound that you may struggle to hear the most depending on the type of hearing loss you are experiencing.
Once the type and extent of hearing loss have been identified, your audiologist will be able to talk you through the various options. Having a hearing aid fitted will help you to regain confidence in social situations by allowing you to partake fully in conversations.
Addressing mental health issues when you have hearing loss
In addition to addressing the hearing loss that you are experiencing; it is essential to take care of your mental health. It may take some time after getting your hearing aid to rebuild your confidence and restore your mental health.
Self-care is essential. Making sure that you get plenty of sleep and exercise, that you’re managing to eat a balanced diet and that you’re pushing yourself to do activities that you will enjoy are all ways to help you recover from depression.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor or to seek a professional counselor.
Get in touch today to arrange your hearing test
Having your hearing tested regularly will help you to identify hearing loss as it emerges. To book a hearing test or to learn more about Ashland Audiology call today at 715-682-9311.