The intensive listening effort caused by untreated hearing loss can be stressful. Experts believe that even if you have a mild hearing loss that is not being treated, cognitive load increases significantly.
Research shows that when left unaddressed, hearing loss is associated with other physical, mental and emotional health issues that diminish quality of life. Withdrawal from social situations, a lessened ability to cope, and reduced overall psychological health are just some of the conditions associated with unaddressed hearing loss. Often, people with untreated hearing loss feel angry, frustrated, anxious, isolated, and depressed.
A 2014 study showed that hearing loss is associated with an increased risk of depression in adults of all ages. Another study looked at working adults, 35 to 55 years old, with untreated mild to moderate age-related hearing loss and found that they were more prone to depression and interpersonal sensitivity than those without hearing problems.
The good news is that hearing aids can help the majority of people with hearing loss. Research shows that most people with hearing loss who use hearing aids improve their ability to communicate effectively.
When individuals with hearing loss use hearing aids, their depressive symptoms are often reduced. The majority of hearing aid users say they’re satisfied with the changes that have occurred in their lives and they feel better about themselves as a result of their hearing aids.
Getting a hearing test and using professionally fitted hearing aids are important ways individuals with hearing loss can ease the stress associated with intensive listening and safeguard their mental health and quality of life. Contact us to schedule an appointment to have your hearing tested by an audiologist.