Mental Health and Hearing Loss
Untreated hearing loss should not be taken lightly. There are 48 million people in Katy, Texas and throughout the country suffering from hearing loss, but only one in five of them actually seeks treatment. Those who refuse to seek treatment are risking more than just their ability to hear. Being cut off from the rest of the world can lead to a number of mental health disorders, ranging from depression and anxiety to loneliness and frustration.
A study by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) found that moderate to severe depression occurred in 11.4 percent of adults with hearing loss, compared to only 5.9 percent in those without hearing loss. They also found that these feelings of depression are much stronger in women.
Common Hearing Loss Issues Facing Seniors
Two of the most common issues facing seniors in Katy with hearing loss are loneliness and social isolation. Many decide to simply avoid social situations as it can be incredibly frustrating to not understand the world around you. The National Council on the Aging (NCOA) conducted a study that determined that those who used their hearing instruments were “more socially active and avoided periods of depression, worry, paranoia and insecurity compared to non-users with hearing loss.”
Another serious problem facing seniors with untreated hearing loss is cognitive decline. While research is still being conducted, many studies have found that there may be a correlation between hearing loss and cognitive decline or dementia. Research conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that the individuals with severe hearing loss were more likely to develop dementia, compared to those with moderate hearing loss.
If you or a loved one is showing signs of hearing loss, contact your local Katy audiologist to schedule a visit as soon as possible. Don’t live in Katy? No problem, we proudly serve the surrounding West Houston, Brookshire and Fulshear areas as well.