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According to the Better Hearing Institute, a link between untreated hearing loss and depression has been found. Depression is a very serious condition that affects more than 120 million people worldwide. The World Federation for Mental Health reports that in the United States alone, major depression affects 15 million adults, which is about 5-8 percent of the adult population. Depression frequently occurs with a variety of other physical illnesses or problems.
People who have hearing loss often complain that they feel isolated and left out of activities and conversations. When they have difficulty communicating with their loved ones, friends, family, and coworkers, their quality of life suffers. They stop feeling as though they are fully contributing. They feel as though they are not being utilized to their full potential. They feel left out. These are all terrible feelings and can contribute to depression. It is normal for them to stop participating in situations or activities they would normally enjoy due to the anxiety of being there and not being able to understand what is going on around them, or for them to become anxious, hostile, or develop phobias.
The best news is that hearing aids can help alleviate the debilitating effects of depression! Several studies have been done (Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics and Better Hearing Institute) and have shown that hearing aids have helped to significantly improve the psychosocial and cognitive conditions of people who are suffering from both hearing loss and depression. Hearing aids allow wearers to continue participating in group and work activities, enjoy one on one conversations, hear at religious services, hear music, understand at work, communicate with family and friends, and to improve their relationships at home. Close to half of wearers who participated in the study said they felt they had had improvements with their self confidence, sense of safety, feelings about themselves, and sense of independence, and one third of them reported their mental and emotional life improved.
If you feel like you are missing out on life, conversations, jokes, and you feel that it is affecting your quality of life…or if you have a loved one who doesn’t seem to be as happy go lucky as he used to be and you notice he’s not hearing you as well…come in and get your hearing tested! Don’t suffer in silence: your family and friends miss you. They miss you participating in family conversations at dinner. They miss you participating in coffee time after church. They miss you participating in the annual sales meeting. Do not let your hearing loss and depression dictate your life. Get help! Don’t miss another moment!
Until next time,