Relationship Between Untreated Hearing Problems And Anxiety, Paranoia, And Depression

Various studies have demonstrated that men and women with untreated hearing loss are at a greater risk of having a number of mental health problems. Although depression is the most common of these problems, anxiety and paranoia are also prevalent. This is no longer a theory, but rather has highly compelling evidence.

In a study by the National Council on Aging (NCOA), it was demonstrated that people who had untreated hearing loss and were over the age of 50 were more likely to also experience depression, anger, anxiety, paranoia, emotional instability and frustration. Furthermore, these people were generally not as likely to take part in social activities. It was also found that as the hearing loss increased, the degree of mental health issues would increase too. A separate study demonstrated that older people with untreated hearing loss had an 80% increased chance of depression and 46% of low self-esteem. These problems exist in elderly people, but also in the younger ones. In an Italian study, people between the age of 35 and 54 were monitored. The findings were similar. It showed that people with hearing problems also suffered more from depression and social isolation. It was also noted that those with hearing problems would report that they found it very difficult to fully participate in recreational activities. A lot of people also mentioned that they struggled to work properly and that they experienced a lot of hostility. Out of those studied, 60% reported feeling depressed. Additionally, 20% of those surveyed actually experienced at least three of the clinical depression signs. People also regularly reported sleep problems and a general loss of interest.

It is a sad fact that these people have to suffer so much, when a simple hearing aid could help them. These devices have been proven to help people have a greater quality of life and a reduction on their mental health problems. Indeed, their overall health would improve significantly, also because they would have a better self-view. All of the studies clearly demonstrate that people should have hearing problems identified as soon as possible. As such, professionals in the field of general and mental health must start to work together to make this possible. Unfortunately, at present, most medical professionals don’t even look into hearing issues if someone presents with depressive symptoms. A lot more work needs to be done, therefore, on raising awareness, also with the general public as a whole.