Untreated Hearing Loss May Lead To Depression

Hearing loss is under treated in adults in spite of evidence showing that hearing aid technology can substantially lower depression and anxiety and improve cognitive functioning, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference.

Said David Myers, PhD, a psychology professor and textbook writer at Hope College in Michigan who lives with hearing loss:

“Many hard of hearing people battle silently with their invisible hearing difficulties, straining to stay connected to the world around them, reluctant to seek help.”

A National Council on Aging study of 2,304 people with hearing loss, found that those who didn’t wear hearing aids were 50 percent more likely to suffer from sadness or depression than people who did wear them, he said. Not only that, but hearing aid users were much more likely to take part in social activities regularly.

“Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing,” Myers said. “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.”

A 2011 study found that hearing loss could also be a risk factor for dementia. Researchers who conducted the study said years of sensory loss leaves people more susceptible to dementia.