Untreated Hearing Loss Linked to Depression
If you suffer from any form of hearing loss, then you need to be aware of the companion diseases that can come along with this ailment. One of the most troubling results of recent studies is that they have found that people with hearing loss are much more likely to suffer from depression. In this article we will take a look at this phenomenon, the study that brought it to light, and ways that you can combat hearing loss in the future.
Saving Your Hearing
One of the most important steps to take in your life if you are to avoid this ailment and others like it is to protect your hearing for as long as possible. This means that you should take ext care to avoid loud environments and loud jobs if possible. However, since some people have a very loud lifestyle and cannot reasonably avoid this form of trauma, it is necessary to be educated and to use proper hearing protection at all times. This will keep you from suffering hearing loss and, as the study suggests, depression.
The individuals who undertook this study used a very large sample size so that the people who reviewed the data would be convinced. The sample included almost 18,000 different people between the ages of 18 and 80. As a result, these people were given a very simple test to gauge their hearing. Anyone over the age of 70 had to go to a clinic, while the others were able to self report hearing. After this was completed, the researchers gave the subjects a test that would reveal depressive tendencies.
The results of this test were very convincing to a certain point. The individuals over the age of 70 who suffered from hearing loss confounded the study because they had normal rates of depression. However, the people below the age of 70 had up to 11% more cases of depression with hearing loss than without it. This confirmed the correlation that was originally hypothesized and then tested.
What Can We Do?
The first thing that many people are asking is what can be done to help those who suffer from hearing loss and depression. Many people have suggested that the individuals take medication and go to a therapist. While these are standard treatments, it fails to treat the actual source of the depression. In order to best treat this ailment, it would do the patient a great deal of good to get a hearing aid or possibly surgery. With corrected hearing, the people suffering from hearing loss would be able to resume their daily activities, the lack of which influences their depression.