Oct 05, 2023

The link between hearing loss and mental health

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World Mental Health Day (October 10) is an important time to raise awareness about hearing loss and how you can support your loved ones. [Source: Shutterstock]

Nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide – or 1 in 4 people – will be living with some degree of hearing loss by 2050.

Sadly, untreated hearing loss can have a serious impact on people’s overall quality of life – including their emotional well-being and mental health.  

A large study of existing research found that adults with hearing loss are 47% more likely to experience depression symptoms.

Hearing loss can cause social isolation, lowered self-esteem, anxiety and depression. For those who already have mental health issues, hearing loss can worsen the problem.

Communication is vital to our ability to connect with the world around us. Any degree of mild hearing loss can impact a person’s ability to communicate with others and engage in social situations – including everything from dinner parties, to talking on the phone with loved ones, or customer service representatives.  

Many people with hearing loss report a drop in self-esteem and confidence.

A global consumer survey by Audika in 2021 highlighted the importance of diagnosing and managing hearing loss in order for people to live happier and healthier lives.

The survey revealed 37% of Australian respondents who are hearing aid wearers are happier than before diagnosis. Also indicating that the impact of a diagnosis can be transformative with nearly one in five hearing aid wearers reporting a ‘life-changing’ difference.

While many of the Australian hearing aid wearing respondents (39%) would previously pretend to hear better than they could, since treating their hearing loss, nearly half (48%) now report better conversations. 

here is a clear lack of understanding of the very real and serious daily implications of hearing loss – and a reluctancy to act.

As a collective, we should take our hearing more seriously, and there are accessible ways to stay on top of your hearing health from both a prevention and a management perspective.

If you find that you do need the support of hearing aids, I strongly encourage you to explore the best solution for you. Even though many of us walk around wearing Air Pods or headphones, it’s clear that hearing aids still have a bad reputation. 

People have this visual that all hearing aids look like they did in the 80’s, but technology has come such a long way – you can get hearing aids that are so discreet, they are hardly noticeable. 

As a first step, we need to make hearing tests part of our annual health checks. Getting regular hearing checks is a great way to track your hearing health and get support as soon as you need it. 

If you are over the age of 26 you can take advantage of free hearing checks at your local Audika clinic. If you can’t make it in store, Audika’s five-minute online hearing check can help provide an immediate indication of your hearing. Act now, so you can live better.  

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  1. My husband remains hearing impaired despite hearing aids. Besides the background noise making normal conversations impossible if not one on one, our biggest problem is how hard it is for any hearing impaired person to understand a person with a strong accent. Whether the person is Scottish or Indian, examples. It is not racist. It is fact. I have to go to every appointment with my husband to interpret for him.

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