Your ears and your mental health
The link between hearing loss and depression
Untreated hearing loss can lead to more than just frustration. When you are not able to hear, what people are saying around you, your daily interactions can leave you feeling self-conscious. Finding it easier to avoid social interactions instead of asking people to speak up or to repeat themselves. That isolation can lead to loneliness and eventually depression. No one should feel alone because they can’t properly hear what is happening in the world around them.
Recent studies have shown a relationship between hearing loss and depression. One study found that 11.4 per cent of adult with hearing loss had moderate to severe depression, and 19.1 per cent had mild depression symptoms. A study in 2009 found that the chance of developing depression increased by five per cent with every decrease in incremental hearing ability, and it’s been reported that one in five hearing-impaired older adults have symptoms of clinical depression.
Know the signs
Stop the problem before it starts. On average, people wait seven years before seeking treatment for hearing loss. “Please don’t wait that long,” says Cristina Carteri, owner of Optimal Hearing in Regina. “You don’t have to suffer in silence. A simple hearing test can help determine what we can do to improve your hearing.”
Get a hearing test if:
· You are anxious about meeting new people because you can’t understand them.
· You’re frustrated talking to loved ones because it is hard to hear them.
· You sense your social life has become limited because you can’t hear well.
· You find yourself avoiding or isolating from social situations.
· You feel alone even with family and friends.
Hearing tests are simple and painless. “It’s never too early or too late to have your hearing checked, whether you think you have a problem or not,” says Carteri. “Your hearing is much like your eyes. Take care of them for your overall health.”
Did you know?
· Both eyes and ears help with balance. When one or the other is impaired, the risk of falling increases.
· Research has shown hearing loss can slow your level of physical activity. Called cognitive load, it means your attention and energy is spent on trying to hear, draining your energy for other things.
· When your hearing is improved, you’re more likely to be more active, which can make you less prone to health concerns like diabetes and stroke.
Optimal Hearing can help you and your loved ones with hearing services. Learn more about what Optimal Hearing can do for you at optimalhearing.ca or call 306.559.4411 for more information.
Southland Mall, Regina