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Numerous studies have been conducted over the years linking hearing loss and depression. These same studies show that a high majority of adults with moderate untreated hearing loss are more prone to struggle with moderate to severe depression. 

                    About one in five have symptoms of clinical depression. 

Just like depression, hearing loss is not only invisible, but misunderstood. Following the shifts in conversations can be particularly challenging, because of the fluid nature of talking with friends and family. One moment, the conversation is focused on the events of the day and next it shifts to a story about what's to eat. 

These simple changes in conversation lead to misunderstandings, frustration and severe confusion. Those struggling with hearing loss or those in denial of the hearing loss they have start to loss connection with everyone around them. This process is gradual and at times not even noticed when if first starts. 

Confusion, difficulty following conversations, paranoia, isolation, avoidance, anxiety and frustration an varying levels can be linked directly to hearing loss in many cases lead to a negative effect on both careers and personal life. 

A struggle to follow the conversation, avoidance of social settings and slight paranoia could be the result of hearing loss.

The connection between depression and failing social relationships have been tied to hearing difficulty.

Those with hearing loss send weaker auditory signals to their brains, causing the brain to work harder to process sounds and cause an effect on the brains ability to process memories.  As the information is distorted and unclear it becomes  disorganized  information stored in the brain. This can cause the brain to change the way the brain functions as a whole, including the areas that regulates mood and overall mental health.

In other words, there are indications that the brain is actually rewired by hearing loss. 

That makes it particularly important for those over 50 years of age to have there hearing tested regularly.

Signs of hearing loss 

  • the volume on the TV inching up to levels that others find blaring,

  • frequent requests to repeat something

  • struggling to follow conversations

  • sleep changes

  • anger

  • irritability

  • depression symptoms

Signs of depression

  • sleep changes

  • anger

  • irritability

  • problems concentrating  

How to talk about hearing loss 

Navigating this conversation may not be easy. 

People don’t like to be told what to do or that in someway they are failing or struggling. This can be an embarrassing and emotion conversation for them to have. 

Frame the conversation around the benefits seeking treatment will have for them and those they love, such as making it easier to participate in conversations or enjoy outings. You can remind them that hearing aids will reduce their dependency on others. It can also help to remind people that hearing aid technology has come a long ways and is far more effective than it used to be.

Offer to go with them to get their hearing tested, support is always a large part of success when helping people start the journey to better hearing. Your Health Care Provider will guide you through and answer all your questions... Life is better with sound!

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