If you’ve recently been diagnosed with hearing loss or feel that your hearing loss is getting worse, you may be worried about the unknown. If this is true for you, know that you’re not alone, and there is hope. In fact, research shows that treating your hearing loss can help ease your anxiety. We review more about this connection below.
What Does the Research Show?
In one 2017 study of 1,700 adults ages 76 to 85, researchers found that those with mild hearing loss had a 32% higher chance of having anxiety, and for those with moderate or higher hearing loss, the chance rose by 59%.
Fortunately, according to another 2017 study, “The problem of anxiety and depression in patients with moderate and severe sudden sensorineural hearing loss is relatively prominent, and the symptoms of anxiety and depression are obviously affected by the symptoms and other diseases… After treatment, anxiety and depression status changes significantly.”
Why the Link?
When you can’t hear well, there are a lot of things you may be worried about, such as:
- Your hearing aids running out of battery life at an inopportune time.
- Misunderstanding someone and responding to what they said inappropriately.
- Missing important information from your health care provider.
- Your tinnitus (ringing in the ears) worsening.
- Not having access to captions.
- Getting passed up for a promotion or pay raise at work.
Constant worry can eventually spiral into an anxiety disorder.
How Do Hearing Aids Help?
Hearing aids compensate for hearing loss by turning up the volume on the world around you, so you can hear it better. When this happens, it can alleviate some of the worries you have. For instance:
- You can invest in rechargeable hearing aids or keep spares on hand.
- You can hear what someone is saying so you can respond in a way that makes sense.
- You can understand what your health care provider is saying.
- Your tinnitus will be manageable.
- You won’t need to rely on captions as heavily.
- You’ll perform better at work.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing health expert, call San Diego ENT today.