Hearing loss can lead to depression if not treated

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Hearing declines over the course of life through exposure to loud noise, secondary consequence of cardiovascular changes or general “wear and tear.”

An online article in Macquarie University's “The Lighthouse” states, “...hearing loss in older age not only affects communication, but has a substantial impact on mental well-being.”

As people live longer lives, it is critical these extra years of life are healthy, happy and productive.

A major new study by The National Council on the Aging (NCOA) found significantly more seniors with untreated hearing loss (those who do not wear hearing aids) reported feelings of sadness or depression that lasted two or more weeks during the previous years.

Because social isolation is a serious problem for some older people, the study also examined social behavior and found people who don’t use hearing aids are considerably less likely to participate in social activities.

Identifying adult-onset hearing loss early and providing the right supports can reduce the negative consequences hearing loss can have on mental and physical health — and our connection with others and the environment.

Those who use hearing aids report significant improvements in many areas of their lives, including social interactions and independence.

If you are considering whether to seek help for hearing loss, ask yourself the following questions:

· Do I shy away from social gatherings?

· Are my personal relationships suffering?

· Do I feel increasingly unsafe, especially while alone or while taking care of others?

· Am I becoming more isolated in my personal and professional life?

· Does the thought of a crowded environment give me anxiety?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, it is important to seek treatment for adult-onset hearing loss.

Contact a hearing professional to help find the best solution for you, and start living your best quality of life!

Dr. Sarah Hickey, Au. D., is an audiologist and owner of Audiology Associates.