How Hearing Aids Can Improve Your Mental Well-Being
As Helen Keller once said, “Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” That separation is one of the reasons untreated hearing loss has been linked to depression, and why research shows wearing hearing aids can help avoid or alleviate this debilitating condition.
Hearing loss often leads to depression
Multiple research studies have examined the effect of untreated hearing loss on depression and all have concluded it is a significant contributing factor for many people. The possible reasons include the following:
- Tendency to isolate themselves rather than engage in situations that require good hearing and communication, such as crowded parties
- Being thrust into unavoidable social and work situations that necessitate these skills cause daily stress and anxiety, both of which are known contributors to depression
- Feeling stigmatized as old and out of touch
- Misunderstanding speech deals blows to self-esteem and confidence when people laugh at inappropriate responses or won’t repeat what they just said
- Feeling nervous and unsafe out of fear of missing an approaching threat (brakes squealing) or alert (siren, fire detector)
- Losing the ability to hear sounds enjoyed throughout life —music, television, birds singing, grandchildren’s voices — triggers feelings of sadness and deprivation
Can hearing aids really make a difference?
The answer is a resounding yes in most cases. First of all, by taking action you will eliminate the sense of frustration and hopelessness struggling to live with hearing loss entails. You can actively take control of your hearing health and address it in such a way that gets results. That empowerment alone can provide a boost to your sense of self-worth and confidence. Hearing aids can return your enjoyment of social gatherings and activities you’ve been avoiding or missing out on. You’ll be able to keep up at school or work again, which in turn will bring you greater success and improve your lifestyle. For these and many other reasons, getting your hearing loss evaluated and treated with hearing aids is as important for your mental health as it is for your hearing health.
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