If you have untreated hearing loss, you know that it impacts your everyday life. Did you know that it could also be affecting your mood? We review the connection between untreated hearing loss and mood problems below.
What the Research Shows
A 2022 study published in the journal Frontiers of Aging Neuroscience aimed to investigate the association between untreated hearing loss, social and emotional loneliness, social isolation, social support and psychological discomfort in older adults.
Just over 200 volunteers ages 40 to 89 completed a hearing assessment, social interaction and support questionnaire and social and emotional loneliness questionnaire.
According to the researchers, “Untreated hearing loss significantly increases the odds of being emotionally lonely. Depression significantly contributes to social and emotional loneliness, satisfaction with social support and social loneliness. Given the higher prevalence of loneliness and psychological discomfort and their associations with untreated hearing loss, hearing-impaired older adults are at significant risk of developing loneliness and psychological discomfort.”
Why Is There a Link?
If you can’t hear well, you may find yourself worrying about misunderstanding people. This constant worry can spiral into an anxiety disorder and cause you to remove yourself from situations where this could happen, such as gathering with friends at Roasters Coffee & Tea, leading to social isolation. Social isolation is a major risk factor for depression and can lead to feelings of loneliness.
Fortunately, there is hope.
What You Can Do to Address Mood Problems
If you’re experiencing mood problems and you also have untreated hearing loss, the first step toward happier, healthier living is to schedule an appointment with an audiologist. Audiologists are hearing experts who can administer diagnostic hearing tests and prescribe hearing devices that suit your needs.
While hearing aids are the gold standard treatment for most cases of hearing loss, cochlear implants may be recommended for people with severe to profound hearing loss.
If you’re still struggling with your mood after seeking treatment for your hearing loss, see a licensed mental health professional who can help stabilize your mood.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, call Amarillo Hearing Clinic today.