Is Your Mood Connected to Hearing Loss?

Is Your Mood Connected to Hearing Loss?

In Health, Hearing Loss by audseo

Losing your ability to hear can have significant effects on how you experience everyday life. Hearing and communication are essential ways we build meaningful relationships, maintain connection, and enjoy daily activities. Hearing loss can dramatically impact mental health and wellness, taking a toll on one’s mood. Fortunately, there are effective ways hearing loss is treated that not only transform hearing health but also quality of life. 

Link Between Hearing Loss & Depression 

Studies show that there is a link between hearing loss and depression. A significant study that explores this correlation was published in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. This study involved collecting and analyzing data from a national health survey. Data included hearing test results as well as information about depressive symptoms for 18,318 people. Researchers found that the prevalence of moderate to severe depression was: 

  • 4.9% for individuals reporting excellent hearing
  • 11.4% for people who reported a little to greater hearing loss 

These findings show that people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms. Additional findings show that the severity of hearing loss can further increase the risk of depressive symptoms. This supports further research that highlights the impact hearing loss can have on mental health

Impact of Hearing Loss on Mood

Depressive symptoms include feeling anxious, lonely, sad, isolated etc. These symptoms can take a toll on mood, impacting how you feel on an everyday basis. There are several significant ways that hearing loss can impact mood including: 

  • Straining communication: hearing loss reduces capacity to hear and process speech as well as sound. This makes it challenging to engage in conversations, making interactions uncomfortable or unpleasant. Not being able to fully participate in conversations and activities with others can be frustrating and isolating. 
  • Impacting relationships: strained communication can also deeply affect relationships which require effective communication. Spending quality time with others, communicating your thoughts, and sharing ideas can become difficult. This can lead to distance and tension in relationships. 
  • Producing social withdrawal: to cope with hearing loss symptoms and strained communication, it is common for people to avoid conversation altogether. Social withdrawal is a major effect of untreated hearing loss. This includes skipping out on social events and participating in activities a lot less. Not only does this affect social connection, but it contributes to greater isolation. 

These effects of untreated hearing loss can significantly impact mood and mental health. This highlights the importance of intervening early to treat hearing loss. 

How Treatment Improves Mood 

There are effective ways that hearing loss is treated. Accessing hearing solutions improve hearing health but also mood. One of the most common ways that hearing loss is treated is with hearing aids. These are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, and process speech as well as sound. This provides the ears and brain with significant support, alleviating symptoms and increasing one’s capacity to hear. Extensive research shows the many benefits of wearing hearing aids including decreasing depressive symptoms and improving mood. 

A major study that investigates the impact hearing aids have on mood involved assessing 113 hearing aid wearers. Researchers evaluated people after 6 months of wearing hearing aids and again at the one year mark. They found that depressive symptoms improved by 28% after 6 months of wearing hearing aids and by another 16% by one year. This reveals that hearing aids continue to alleviate depressive symptoms. Hearing aids provide ample support that allows people to navigate everyday life with greater ease. People are better able to engage in conversations, spend time with others, and participate in everyday life. This strengthens communication, improves relationships, enriches social connection, and boosts mental health. 

Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today

Prioritizing your hearing health starts with one simple step and that is scheduling an appointment for a hearing consolation. This includes getting your hearing comprehensively evaluated which involves a painless and noninvasive process. Getting your hearing tested allows you to learn more about what your hearing needs are and the specifics of any symptoms that you may be experiencing. Your hearing healthcare provider is then able to tailor treatment to meet those needs. Treating hearing loss can transform your everyday life and health. Contact us today to get started!