Hearing aids found to improve depressive symptoms

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Age-related hearing loss affects nearly two thirds of those older than 70 and depression in older adults is a major public health concern. Studies have shown that treating hearing loss can lesson depression. If you think you are experiencing hearing loss, or think a friend or a loved one is, you should get a hearing evaluation at Hearing Spa of Florida.

Depression and hearing loss both go untreated

Hearing loss is the third most occurring condition in older adults. Presbycusis, hearing loss associated with aging, occurs gradually and is characterized by the loss of the highest frequency consonant sounds. Understanding speech with background noise also becomes a problem. Depression among older adults is a health concern that often goes untreated and unnoticed. Hearing loss is the most chronic condition associated with depression in older adults!

With hearing loss comes social isolation, loneliness and greater dependence on caregivers leading to a generally poorer quality of life and – depression. Put another way, people with untreated hearing loss find it difficult to communicate leading to stress, fatigue, anxiety and – social isolation and this leads to depression.
A study by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders showed that11% of those with hearing loss also had depression as compared to the general population where 5% responded that they were depressed.

The institute found that only 9% of internists recommended hearing tests for their senior patients and even with testing, only 25% of those with hearing loss took action to get hearing devices.

Recognize the symptoms

Do you find yourself turning up the television or the radio more and more? Are you asking people to repeat themselves? Do you have problems understanding a server at a busy restaurant with lots of background noise? Do you have difficulty following conversations when there is background noise? Do you find yourself making inappropriate comments or answering a question oddly because you couldn’t process what was being said? You are likely experiencing hearing loss.
Some symptoms of depression are well known – sadness and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Other symptoms that are less well known include: fatigue, difficulty concentrating, loss of appetite, irritability and loss of interest in hobbies.
Many of the symptoms of depression are also symptoms of hearing loss because with untreated hearing loss you struggle to process noise which leads to fatigue, irritability and withdrawal from social situations.


Looking at both issues

For a person who has depression caused by or made worse by hearing loss, a hearing test prior to going on medication could help avoid unnecessary drug use. Physicians treating hearing loss should also screen for depression. If you suspect you have hearing loss, you need to get an evaluation as soon as possible to avoid bringing on depression as well as a loss of cognitive functions.
A survey by the Better Hearing Institute found that 9 out of 10 people reported a significant improvement in the quality of life after getting hearing aids.
A recent study investigated whether or not treatment with hearing aids or cochlear implants would mitigate depressive symptoms in a pool of older adults. The study was conducted on 113 participants aged 50 or older, who had gotten hearing aids or cochlear implants.
There depression prior to the hearing treatment was scored on a recognized geriatric scale. The baseline depression score improved by 31% in those who received the cochlear implant and it improved by 28% for those who utilized hearing aids. So, there was significant improvement in depressive symptoms after six months and that improvement persisted after 12 months!
The strong correlation between untreated hearing loss and depression can not be ignored. It shows that a hearing test and treatment can dramatically change the course of a person’s life. Getting untreated hearing loss treated improves the quality of one’s life and gets a person re-engaged in society which will help combat depression.


Get a hearing evaluation today

There is no reason to delay getting a hearing test or treatment. We will work with you to find a hearing aid model that fits your needs and work with you if you need something else like swimmer’s molds or specialty devices for musicians. Hearing tests are painless and the improvement on the quality of your life with new hearing aids can not be denied. Don’t risk a deterioration in the quality of your life because you decided to put off a hearing exam – call today.