Hearing Loss and Mental Health

Last Updated16/09/2022

Hearing loss is a natural part of ageing for most of us. However, it can also impact your mental health. Taking care of your hearing health not only helps to reduce and stem hearing loss, but can potentially affect your mental health.

Does it ever seem like everyone around you is mumbling? Or are you struggling to hear the TV? You might have impaired hearing.

Hearing loss can lead to different emotional struggles. You might start feeling frustrated that you have to keep asking family members to repeat themselves. Or perhaps you feel like you are missing out on conversations in group settings. Maybe it’s getting hard to hear your favourite music– or the laughter of your grandkids. You may even avoid social situations to avoid feeling isolated and left out.

It’s important not to discount these emotions. Impaired hearing and the feelings of isolation and helplessness that often come with it can lead to mental health conditions such as:

  • Anxiety
    Research shows that people with hearing loss tend to experience more anxiety. You might worry about how quickly your hearing loss will worsen or if you are hurting your relationships. In social situations, you might worry about miscommunication or missing out.
  • Depression
    People with hearing loss are at a higher risk of developing depression. Feeling isolated and helpless can affect your mental state. 
  • Cognitive decline and dementia
    Hearing loss can speed up cognitive decline in older adults, raising the risk for conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. When the brain is working harder to interpret the world without sounds, its ability to perform other tasks reduces – and that may shrink parts of the brain as they receive fewer signals. Lack of social interaction may also have an impact on the brain.
  • Sleep problems
    Hearing loss can affect the quality of your sleep. This, in turn, puts you at risk of other conditions, ranging from depression to high blood pressure to diabetes.

Early detection of hearing loss is important. The sooner you know the extent of the damage and the potential causes, the sooner you can take action to slow down further impairment.

Professional treatment for hearing loss typically begins with a hearing test conducted by an audiologist. If tests reveal a hearing impairment, the health care provider can point you toward treatment options.

Book your free hearing health check with us today.


Reference: Sheldon Reid, Help Guide, August 2022