Suffering from hearing loss can greatly increase your odds of depression, among other health problems.
Not being able to hear well when you go out and get together with friends or family can be a real problem as you grow older. Plainly put, it can be a real downer. Age-related hearing loss is the third-most common chronic condition in older adults, and not only can it raise the risk of developing dementia, but it contributes highly to depression.
“Most people over age 70 have at least mild hearing loss, yet relatively few are diagnosed, much less treated, for this condition,” says the lead author of a new study, Justin S. Golub, MD, MS.
The new study published online in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, analyzed health data from 5,239 Hispanic individuals over the age of 50.
Each participant had an audiometric hearing test, and was screened for depression.
It was found that individuals with mild hearing loss were almost twice as likely to have clinically significant symptoms of depression than those with normal hearing.
And those participants suffering from severe hearing loss had over four times the odds of having depressive symptoms.
The greater the hearing loss, the greater the risk. While the findings were specific to the Hispanic community, researchers feel they can be applied to anyone with age-related hearing loss.
Having trouble keeping up in conversation, or watching content on TV? Talk to your doctor about hearing solutions that can help and get tested.