From time to time, we may get a little low, call it Monday blues or a temporary depression. But if you suffer from unhappiness or low mood frequently – or even chronically – it can be a result of a surprising cause that you may not be aware of.
When we think of our emotions, we often relate to our brain. Sure, our mental health is inseparable from our brain, but studies have shown that having your hearing checked may offer some valuable insight into your low mood.
Untreated hearing loss contributes to low mood
Hearing loss is a growing problem among all age groups, but seniors especially. Not only does the ear itself change over time resulting in hearing loss, but other medical conditions can affect our ability to hear, too.
But hearing loss is not just about being able to hear subtle sounds. Studies have shown it can have physical, mental, and emotional effects as well.
A large 2014 study found that hearing loss is associated with depression, especially among those aged 18 to 69. The Italian study found that working adults – over 55 – with untreated hearing loss were at a higher risk for depression and anxiety, compared to those without hearing problems.
An alternative study carried out by researchers at Johns Hopkins found that older adults with hearing loss were 57 percent more likely to develop serious episodes of stress, depression, or bad mood, compared to their normal-hearing peers.
The studies suggest that hearing loss should be considered as a factor when treating patients with mental health issues.
On the other hand, studies have shown strong links between mood improvement and the use of hearing aids. Among those who used hearing aids, mood was improved along with quality of life.
5 reasons you should get a hearing test
Even if you think your hearing is fine, it’s still important to have your hearing checked. In fact, treating your undiagnosed hearing loss can:
- make you feel more optimistic and engaged in life
- help you enjoy your everyday life more by being social
- help promote stronger relationships
- improve communication
- help improve your performance at work and at home
Unfortunately, hearing test is often overlooked. Even though we go for our annual physicals, many of us don’t go that extra step to have our hearing checked, potentially putting our hearing health – and mental health – at risk. So, don’t delay, book that appointment for your peace of mind – and the health of your ears.