Hearing Aids Are Found to Improve Depressive Symptoms

Hearing Aids Are Found to Improve Depressive Symptoms

Hearing loss can affect daily life in various ways. In addition to making communication tough and impacting relationships, a lesser recognized effect of hearing loss is the impact it has on mental health and wellness. Studies show that people with hearing loss can be more than twice as likely to experience depressive symptoms. 

Link Between Hearing Loss & Depressive Symptoms

Extensive research explores how hearing loss impacts people in their daily life. Studies have shown that one major effect of hearing loss is depressive symptoms. This includes a study that involved researchers collecting and analyzing data on hearing loss and depressive symptoms.  This data, provided by a national health survey, included results from hearing tests as well as responses from a questionnaire that assessed depressive symptoms for 18,318 participants. 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 

This highlights that people with hearing loss were more than twice as likely to experience depression. These findings align with further research that shows a correlation between hearing loss and depression. 

Impact of Hearing Loss on Wellness

Hearing loss can contribute to depressive symptoms in several ways. A recent study that examines the social and mental health toll of hearing was published by Clear Living, a healthcare and lifestyle platform. The study involved surveying 3,767 participants who completed a questionnaire that evaluated the major life areas that were most impacted by hearing loss. Key findings include:  

  • 89% of participants cited social and personal issues as the greatest impact of hearing loss
  • 58% of people said that their relationships suffered
  • 39% of participants reported that their conversations declined or were harder to follow
  • 30% found watching TV difficult while 35% struggled being out with friends in public places.

These findings effectively highlight how hearing loss impacts relationships and social life. Strained communication as a result of hearing loss symptoms can lead to communication breakdowns or difficulty having conversations. 

Additionally, doing everyday activities like watching TV or spending time with others also becomes difficult. This often leads to people avoiding this altogether by spending less time with loved ones and avoiding social interactions as much as possible. Social withdrawal is a common outcome of untreated hearing loss. This produces isolation, stress, loneliness which takes a toll on mental health and contributes to depression. 

Hearing Aids Improve Depressive Symptoms

There are effective ways that hearing loss is treated. Hearing aids are the most common treatment. These are electronic devices that are designed to absorb, amplify, adn process speech as well as sound. This alleviates hearing loss symptoms and increases capacity to hear which offers countless benefits including alleviating depression symptoms. 

Studies have shown that hearing aids boost wellness in significant ways. This includes a study published in JAMA Otolaryngology that examined  how the use of hearing aids or cochlear implants impacted  depressive symptoms in older adults. The study involved 113 participants, ages 50 and older who wore hearing aids or cochlear implants. Participants were assessed after wearing these devices for 6 months and then 1 year.  Researchers found that among hearing aid users, depressive symptoms improved by: 

  • 28% after 6 months of wearing hearing aids 
  • depressive symptoms continued to decrease, by 16% at the 12 month mark

This highlights the correlation between hearing aid use and improved depressive symptoms. Hearing aids strengthen communication which allow people to navigate environments with greater ease and confidence. People are better able to have easeful conversations, spend quality time with others, and participate in social interactions with more presence. Thus improves relationships, supports an active social life, and enhances overall mental health and wellness. 

Prioritize Your Hearing Health Today

Treating hearing loss transforms hearing, health and quality of life. You can prioritize your hearing health with one simple step: contact us to schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. This includes having your hearing assessed which allows us to identify your hearing needs and best way to meet those needs. Our practice offers comprehensive services and individualized care that is invested in the best hearing solution for you.