As it turns out, there are more reasons than ever to protect your hearing. People from across the United States were recently put through a study that found that there is a very definitive link between hearing loss and depression. While this comes on the heels of other studies that have established a link between hearing loss and brain damage, it is still a significant finding. Here we will examine the study, the mechanism by which depression occurs, and what can be done to treat it.
The Research And The Findings
One of the first things that the individuals who did the study, from the Institute of Deafness and other Hearing Complications, wanted to do was make sure that there was an adequate sample size. They used 18,000 people from across the United States in order to make sure that the study was diverse. The people under the age of 70 were able to self report their hearing statistics, while those over the age of 70 had to go in to the clinic to take the test. Once they had their hearing measured, they were told to complete a questionnaire that reveals depression in people with a high percentage of accuracy.
The results of the test were almost frightening because it showed that people under the age of 70 were and had hearing loss also had depression in 11% of the cases. This was enough to establish and back up the correlation that resulted from the tests.
Why Does Hearing Loss Cause Depression?
The reason that hearing loss causes depression is only conjecture at this point, but it looks to be firm reasoning. Right now, it appears that the fact that people rely on hearing for communication, jobs, and many other things is important in this context. When people are not able to work or even have a good conversation, they tend to become very isolated and can suffer from depressive symptoms. Over time, this results in someone that is very withdrawn and not able to enjoy life as they were once able.
What Can Be Done?
Right now there is not a one size fits all treatment for hearing loss. While this is unfortunate, there are many different ways that treatment can be administered. Typically, medication and therapy are two great ways to go about treating the depressed. Yet, if you want to actually treat the cause of depression, it is important to look at hearing loss treatment options such as hearing aids or surgery. Surgery may not be possible for everyone, but hearing aids provide a vast increase in hearing in most cases. This can allow people with depression to begin enjoying life to the fullest once again.