Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a number of physical, mental and social health issues. One frequently reported side effect of hearing loss is depression. In addition to feelings of sadness, patients often experience anxiety, anger, frustration, paranoia and emotional instability. Making matters worse, many hearing loss patients withdraw from social activities. Social isolation further contributes to feelings of depression, an illness that affects 1 in 12 Americans.
The solution is a simple one. If you are experiencing hearing loss in Portland, see an audiologist to determine whether hearing aids can help. A research study by the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics found that every single patient who wore hearing aids demonstrated marked improvement in psychological and cognitive conditions. Positive results occurred after only three months of hearing aid use.
How do you know if you are suffering from hearing loss? The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association has developed guidelines for determining when a hearing evaluation is recommend. Patients likely to be experiencing hearing loss will exhibit the following signs and behaviors:
- Difficulty understanding speech, especially when background noise is present.
- Social isolation.
- Watching television or listening to music at volume levels others find uncomfortable.
- Frequently asking others to repeat themselves.
If any of these apply to you, schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist as soon as possible. Seeking treatment early can help prevent serious health consequences such as depression.