HEARING LOSS AND DEPRESSION
The 2016 Report of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine stresses that hearing loss “can be associated with serious health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, as well as dementia, reduced mobility, and falls”.
In March 2018 the World Health Organization asserted that “in older people in particular hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, increasing the risk of depression and dementia.”
Some studies or articles, although not all, have found that hearing loss is associated with depression or symptoms of depression. The following articles reported these findings:
- “NIDCD researchers find strong link between hearing loss and depression in adults” found that whether or not a relationship was found between hearing loss and depression varied with age, sex, degree of depression, and the amount of hearing loss.
- “Death, Depression, Disability, and Dementia Associated With Self-reported Hearing Problems: A 25-Year Study” found increased risk of depression in men reporting hearing problems, but not in those using hearing aids.
- “Sensation and Psychiatry: Linking Age-Related Hearing Loss to Late-Life Depression and Cognitive Decline” concludes that the data linking hearing impairment to incident late-life depression is mixed, but suggests that diminished hearing increases risk of depression.
- “Depression and Individuals with Hearing Loss: A Systematic Review” concludes that hearing loss is significantly associated with depression, based on a review of studies published from 2006 to 2016.
- “The Consequences of Untreated Hearing Loss in Older Persons“, a national survey, found that hearing impaired people who used hearing aids were less likely to report depression.
AND depression has been associated with an increased risk of dementia and/or cognitive impairment.