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Eph. 3:20

  • 941-357-2054
    Bradenton, FL
  • 813-990-0335
    Sun City, FL

Anxiety, Depression and Hearing Loss

woman in hearing clinic for diagnostic evaluation

Hearing and mental health are far more closely linked than you might realize. Your hearing is a part of how you communicate, so it makes sense that if you are struggling to hear properly, your mental health will be impacted due to hearing loss.

With over 19% of participants with hearing impairment in one study expressing mild depressive symptoms, the connection between hearing loss, anxiety and depression are clear to see. Hearing loss can have a profound effect on your life if left untreated; there is the potential you may experience increased anxiety and depression.

Hearing Impairment and Mental Health

More than nine-million Americans over the age of 65 live with hearing loss. The number of people living with hearing loss and depression is much higher in those without hearing aids than those who have hearing aids fitted.

Hearing loss can impact your life in many different ways, from being unable to follow the flow of conversation to listening to your favorite music or watching tv shows and movies. 

As the world becomes quieter for people experiencing hearing loss, they can start to feel shut off from the world and isolated from loved ones. This disconnect can cause people to retreat from social situations, leaving them feeling like they are missing out, invoking feelings of sadness, irritability and paranoia. The longer this is left and a delay in seeing a hearing instrument specialist, the more these feelings can grow and the greater the risk of developing depression.

Anxiety and Hearing Loss

When you interact with someone, you rely on your heart and sight to follow cues and listen to any speech or environmental noises. Being in social situations can be unnerving when you can't quite hear properly. If you are unable to hear correctly, there are always going to be times when you can't quite grasp what is being said, making you unable to follow directions, miss out on vital information or become easily confused. This can increase anxiety as you anticipate struggling socially and therefore withdraw from the world around you as you look to adjust to your new world and way of life.

It is important to remember that those living with any level of hearing loss will likely be overcompensating for this, and their brains will be working harder to process the information and remain in control. In turn, this can affect other processes within the brain leading to impairment in other areas such as memory.

However, encouraging those experiencing hearing loss to look at hearing aid options and with a hearing instrument specialist (HIS) can help them rejoin the world around them, thus reducing any feelings of anxiety and worry about social situations.

Tinnitus and Depression

Hearing loss can bring some undesirable side effects in some people, such as tinnitus. Tinnitus is a condition where people hear a buzzing in the ear. There is no way to stop this buzzing, and over time it can become impossible for people to carry out their duties or concentrate due to the sound. Being fitted with a hearing aid can alleviate symptoms. You can talk to your hearing instrument specialist to discuss devices that offer options to ease the symptoms, such as white noise.

Hearing Aids and Depression

If you suspect someone is struggling with hearing loss or suspect you might be, you can help them by encouraging them to book an appointment with a hearing instrument specialist to discuss hearing aid options. Wearing a custom-fitted hearing aid can help restore some or all the loss being experienced and help people regain their lives.

Hearing aids can be life-changing and allow wearers the ability to immerse themselves back into the world of sound, to enjoy music and movies and join in conversations with family and friends.

If you're worried about broaching this subject with loved ones, instead of springing the issue on them, ease it into the conversation and indirectly inquire if they're aware they might be experiencing hearing loss and would like to see what they can do about it. Remember not to force the issue as some people are sensitive topics. 

At Armand's Hearing Center, we can help you discuss your options regarding custom hearing aid fittings and the correct type of hearing aid for you. We can walk you through the process, from discussing your needs to choosing your device and then the process of adjustments and life with a hearing aid.

If you want to find out more, you can call us at Bradenton: 941-748-9800 or Sun City: 813-938-1148