Twenty percent of individuals in Concord experience hearing loss. Communication difficulties aren’t the only problems these people face; there are many associated health risks that may develop without adequate treatment. If you are suffering from a hearing impairment in Concord and haven’t yet taken the steps to address your condition, your odds of developing a physical, social or psychological condition such as depression are considerably higher.
How Hearing Loss Leads to Depression
For the 48 million Americans diagnosed with hearing loss, daily life can be a challenge. New patients must contend with stress, anxiety, fatigue and social isolation – factors that contribute to feelings of depression. The numbers back this up: a study by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) found that 11.4 percent of individuals with hearing loss suffered from depression, a much higher percentage than those whose hearing is good (7.1 percent) or excellent (4.9 percent). Patients aged 18-69 are most likely to experience depression. The NIDCD study is just one of many to point out this correlation; researchers in Italy and Australia have conducted research that shows similar results.
Often, you might not even realize you are suffering from depression. Learn to recognize the signs early so you can seek treatment. Feelings of sadness and hopelessness are obvious signs of depression; you might also experience fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating and a loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy. Often, a spouse or friend is the first to notice behavioral changes such as these.
Treating Depression with Hearing Aids
The sooner hearing loss is treated, the lower your risk of depression and other negative health-related side effects. Your Concord audiologist urges you to watch for the following symptoms of hearing loss, as established by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:
- Difficulty understanding speech, especially over background noise.
- Isolating yourself from social gatherings and public situations.
- Watching television or listening to music at volume levels others find uncomfortable.
- Frequently asking people to repeat themselves.
Any of these signs should prompt you to make an appointment for a hearing evaluation with an audiologist in Concord.
The good news? Treatment is available, and it’s often as easy as turning on your hearing aids. Researchers at the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics found that every single patient they studied who wore hearing aids showed a significant decline in negative psychosocial and cognitive conditions within three months. Wearing your hearing aids regularly will help reduce your risk of depression. If you haven’t yet committed to wearing hearing aids, please reconsider. Depression is serious and its consequences are far-reaching; avoiding it will only lead to worse health in the long term.