Untreated hearing loss can lead to a variety of different health problems that you might not realize. One way it can take a toll is by worsening your mental health.
Hearing Loss Can Increase Anxiety Symptoms
A 2018 study looked at data from 3,928 adults aged 65 and older over a 12-year period. Researchers were curious as to how both hearing loss and vision loss affected anxiety symptoms. Surprisingly, they found an increase in anxiety symptoms in participants with hearing loss, but not those with vision loss.
This increase in anxiety can manifest in physical symptoms like tense muscles or a racing heart, as well as constant worrying. You may be afraid that your hearing will continue to get worse or that you’ll misunderstand something important at a work meeting. It’s also common for people with hearing loss to worry others will view them as less capable when they find out about their condition.
Higher Rates of Depression in People with Hearing Loss
Anxiety isn’t the only mental health symptom that can increase with hearing loss. It’s also been linked to higher rates of depression. A 2014 study found that moderate hearing loss was significantly associated with depression, particularly among older women.
Hearing loss may lead to an increase in depression is because it interferes with your ability to communicate with your friends and loved ones.
Struggling to Hear May Lead to Isolation
These communication struggles can make you want to avoid social interactions altogether. Afterall, going out to a nice Rockport Lobster with live music becomes much less appealing when you have to work so hard just to follow conversations.
Unfortunately, not only can isolation worsen hearing loss, but it can also exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression as well.
Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Mental Health
Hearing aids can benefit your mental health by improving your ability to communicate and stay connected to the people and activities you love.
Research has shown that people who use hearing aids report a higher quality of life and better mental health.
If you’re struggling with hearing loss, consider making an appointment at Gary D. Schwartzberg Au.D. for a hearing test today.