Hearing loss has been closely tied with a number of negative effects, including depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness and even cognitive decline in a number of studies. Below we explore the link between hearing loss and feelings of loneliness and discuss the benefits of seeking treatment.
The Link Between Hearing Loss & Loneliness
One Dutch study published in Ear & Hearing in 2009, entitled “The association between hearing status and psychosocial health before age 70 years: results from an internet-based national survey on hearing,” sought to examine the association between hearing status and psychosocial health in adults ages 18 to 70.
Researchers determined hearing status using the National Hearing test, and psychosocial health was evaluated with a set of online questionnaires. A total of 1,511 participants were involved.
The researchers found “significant adverse associations between hearing status and distress, somatization, depression, and loneliness.” They also found that the odds for developing severe or very severe loneliness significantly increased by 7% for every decibel signal-to-noise ratio reduction in hearing. Loneliness was the biggest issue for those ages 18 to 30.
According to study authors, “The findings underline the need to seriously address the adverse effects of limited hearing among young and middle-aged adults both in future research and in clinical practice.”
Hearing Aids Can Help
Fortunately, another study found that use of hearing aids can reduce feelings of loneliness and improve overall quality of life. This means more social get-togethers at LaFleur Park and better communication with loved ones.
A study conducted by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and reported in an article by the American Academy of Audiology found that:
- 56% of hearing aid users reported better relations at home after seeking treatment.
- 59% reported improved feelings about self.
- 48% reported improvement in life overall.
- 40% reported improved relations with children and grandchildren.
- 36% reported improved mental health.
- 39% reported better self-confidence.
- 34% reported an improved sense of safety.
- 34% reported better social life.
- 26% reported better relations at work.
- 8% reported improved sex life.