Hearing loss and depression – Is there a link?
A study presented at the 2015 American Psychological Association Convention has concluded that hearing loss can cause negative effects to the quality of life for those suffering with it if they do not seek treatment for their condition.
At the Convention which was held in Toronto, Canada, David Myers, a psychology professor from Michigan, reported:-
“Many hard of hearing people battle silently with their invisible hearing difficulties, straining to stay connected to the world around them, reluctant to seek help”.
Professor Myers has had hearing loss himself since he was a teenager but delayed getting a hearing aid until he reached his 40s.
Although hearing aids are known to assist hearing aid communication skills for people with hearing loss, many people who would benefit from them do not use their hearing aids or have not obtained them.
In the United States the National Center for Health Statistics advises that US citizens delay seeking treatment for hearing loss for an average of six years from when they first notice any symptoms. In his report, Professor Myers suggests that this period can be due to sufferers not wanting to acknowledge their symptoms, being concerned about the appearance of a hearing aid or not being aware of how badly their hearing loss is.
Studies have suggested that if people have hearing loss and do not seek assistance or use a hearing aid, they are 50% more likely to suffer from depression than hearing loss sufferers who used aids.
A study by the US National Council on Ageing recently revealed that social isolation among people with hearing loss could even increase the risk of dementia.
In his report, Professor Myers states “Anger, frustration, depression and anxiety are all common among people who find themselves hard of hearing. Getting people to use the latest in hearing aid technology can help them regain control of their life and achieve emotional stability and even better cognitive functioning.”
In the UK hearing aids are usually available free of charge on the NHS and more advanced hearing aids are also available privately.
If you have hearing loss as a result of exposure to excessive noise at work then What’s My Deafness Claim Worth may be able to assist you in claiming for industrial deafness. A hearing loss claim can include a claim for the cost of hearing aids if this is recommended by an independent medical expert.
If you want to find out more about claiming industrial deafness compensation then please contact us. Our Industrial Deafness Solicitors will be happy to discuss your claim with you.