Recent studies have shown a link between hearing loss and depression. One particular study cited below1 suggested that maladaptive coping skills as well as anxiety and depression are related issues among individuals with acquired hearing loss. In other words, patients with hearing loss will have a greater likelihood of experiencing the effects of depression and anxiety when compared to individuals with normal hearing.
The most recent study2 reporting on the relationship between depression and hearing loss used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2005-2010. Participants in the study were a nationally representative sample of the civilian population. The prevalence of moderate-to-severe depression was significantly higher among adults age 18-69 who had self-reported hearing loss (11.4%) compared with those who reported good-to-excellent hearing (5.9%). That’s nearly twice the risk of depression in a hearing impaired individual compared to a normal hearing individual. Furthermore, depression increased as the degree of reported hearing loss increased from “a little trouble,” to “moderate trouble,” to “a lot of trouble” hearing. If you are feeling depressed then your hearing may be contributing to this.
Social withdrawal and isolation are factors associated with poor hearing and subsequent feeling of depression. Hearing Professionals can provide the appropriate comprehensive testing and evaluation to identify a hearing loss. We can advise your family doctor of the results of this testing and give recommendations for improving your hearing. In combination with the appropriate hearing aids from Hearing Professionals and other treatments prescribed by your family doctor, we could potentially help you or your loved one with depression that is correlated with hearing loss.
1 Garnefski N, Kraaij V. Cognitive coping and goal adjustment are associated with symptoms of depression and anxiety in people with acquired hearing loss. Int J Aud. 2012;51:545-550.
2 Hearing Impairment Associated With Depression in US Adults,
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2010
Chuan-Ming Li, MD, PhD; Xinzhi Zhang, MD, PhD; Howard J. Hoffman, MA; Mary Frances Cotch, PhD; Christa L. Themann, MA, CCC-A; M. Roy Wilson, MD
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2014;140(4):293-302. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2014.42