Depression is a serious medical condition that negatively impacts how individuals see the world, feel, think, and act. With prolonged feelings of sadness or low energy, it can be incredibly difficult for the patient to complete everyday tasks such as personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, and hobbies or activities they enjoy. When left untreated, depression can lead to emotional and physical problems that impact patients’ ability to function in their daily lives.
Risk factors for depression can vary and range from genetic and biological elements to environmental and psychological factors — including hearing loss. El Dorado Hearing explains the connection between hearing loss and depression, as well as the warning signs.
The connection between hearing loss and depression
Varying factors can bring on depression, and one of those factors includes hearing loss. Because hearing loss makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to connect with the world around them, they may find themselves feeling like they’re on the outside looking in.
If their hearing loss impacts their ability to participate in conversations while out with friends or understand what people are saying to them at their place of work, it can negatively affect their emotions and relationships. As a result, they are at a higher risk of suffering from depression.
A study from the American Academy of Audiology found that patients with hearing loss above the age of 65 that do not use hearing aids are more likely to be affected by depression than those who utilize hearing aid technology to help them communicate with the world around them. Without hearing aids, a patient with hearing loss is more likely to feel socially isolated and withdrawn in group settings, increasing the risk of depression.
Signs of depression in patients with hearing loss
Not all individuals exhibit signs of depression the same way, which is why it’s important to know what to look out for when working with elderly patients experiencing hearing loss. If the individual is showing signs of hearing loss, such as asking people to repeat themself or turning up the volume on the TV to high levels, it may be time to get their hearing checked.
Without proper treatment, such as hearing aids, they may begin to withdraw from society and demonstrate some of the warning signs of depression.
Be on the lookout for these depression symptoms:
- Changes to their sleep habits
- Sudden bursts of anger or irritability
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Random crying episodes
- Changes in their weight
- Overwhelming feelings of anxiety
- Loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Changes in their appetite
- Feeling overwhelmed or worthless
- Suicidal thoughts
If you notice one or more of these signs in a patient experiencing hearing loss, it’s important to get them the medical attention they need while also working to restore their hearing and improve their connection with the world.
Encourage a hearing test with El Dorado Hearing
If you have a family member, friend, or another person in your life who is having difficulty hearing, seeking treatment is the best way for them to maintain a positive outlook. Hearing aids can help them interact more confidently in social settings and feel connected to their community.
When depression caused by hearing loss is a concern, make your concern known to the individual. Showing your concern and support could help them find the courage to get the treatment they need, such as hearing aids, that will help them overcome feelings of social isolation or social withdrawal.
Schedule an appointment with El Dorado Heating for a hearing evaluation to get the necessary treatment.