The Unsettling Conditions Hearing Loss Might Lead to
Hearing loss is certainly one of the more difficult aspects of aging to adjust to.
As we get older, our bodies begin to wear out, and our sensitive ears are one of the most noticeable areas of failure we observe.
In my opinion, what you’re about to learn is something the younger generation definitely needs to hear, especially because of the high incidence of in-ear headphone use and over-exposure to unsafe levels of noise.
A new study has shown those who suffer from hearing loss are more likely to suffer from depression if that hearing loss is left untreated.
The study actually places a great deal of responsibility on physicians to not overlook hearing loss, because when they do, patients begin to express classic symptoms of anxiety, depression, along with frustration/anger and even dementia.
In a review of the publication done by the American Psychological Association it was noted those who are effected most are those who don’t begin using hearing aids after they begin to notice their hearing is beginning to fade.
The study noted people who don’t use hearing aids are 50% more likely to suffer from depression. The study which was conducted by the National Council on Aging surveyed 2,304 people with hearing loss to come to this conclusion.
Perhaps the most alarming connection is how untreated hearing loss can even produce dementia. A study published in the Archives of Neurology was able to show how many times dementia is associated with social isolation, so if hearing-loss sufferers begin feeling cut off from the world, it’s easy to see how this would compound the troubling rise in dementia.
An editorial on the study noted:
Psychology professor David Myers from Hope College in Michigan remarked:
Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard-of-hearing. Getting people to use the latest in hearing-aid technology can help them regain control of their life and achieve emotional stability and even better cognitive functioning.”
Myers also explained that many people who are hard-of-hearing prefer to suffer in silence while battling with their hearing difficulties instead of seeking help. He talked about his own life experience, saying that he himself suffers from a genetic condition which had made him begin losing his hearing since he was only a teenager. However, he did not use hearing-aids before he turned 40. Like many other people who suffer from similar problems, he refused to use the help of technology.
For those who encounter the conditions which lead to hearing loss (exposure to loud noises and constant exposure to above “safe” levels of ambient noise), it’s important to do what you can to both protect yourself now, as well as to do what you can to reverse hearing loss (i.e. hearing aids).
The study advises those who suffer from hearing loss to get hearing aids as they conclude this is one way to help avoid depression, dementia, anxiety, etc.