Mental health is a subject showcased frequently throughout the media due to the increasing number of people it affects. In the month ending February 2017, a reported 300 million people worldwide were living with some form of depression1. In Australia alone, 1 in 5 Australians aged between 16 – 86 experience some form of mental illness in any given year2.
Another common condition affecting many Australians is hearing loss. A reported one in six people live with some form of the condition3.
But just how are the two related? Below we explore.
A proven way to decrease the effects of depression
Hearing loss has been proven to be associated with a number of factors such as age, overall health and a minor link to depression.
There are many effects of depression which can be treated through medication, counselling and other methods, dependent on the person affected and which treatments work best for the individual involved.
But what if there was a way to decrease symptoms by treating hearing loss?
A scientific study has linked treating hearing loss to decreased effects of depression. Industry experts from three medically focused universities in America wanted to explore the relationship between the treatment of depressive illness with a hearing aid or cochlear implant.
Taking 113 participants aged 50 years and over, each individual was fitted with either a hearing aid or cochlear implant along with measurements of their depressive symptoms using a Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). After a six month assessment of all participants involved, the GDS score showed a decrease of 28 per cent for those fitted with hearing aids and 31 per cent for users of cochlear implants4.
These results show a great improvement in depression levels among those assessed, showcasing that hearing devices are certainly something that should be considered.
Where and how can I get a hearing check?
With results showing just how treating hearing loss can lower the effects of depression, this revelation could drastically improve mental health for many worldwide. So, why has it been reported that Australians typically wait an average of seven to 10 years before getting their hearing tested?
Hearing checks are not only an easy way to discover an individual's cognitive ability, they are also free for those over the age of 26 at AudioClinic. If you are concerned about your hearing ability and would like to see just how AudioClinic can help, call us on 1800 940 984 or click here to book your own, free hearing test today.
1World Health Organisation, Depression. Accessed July 2017
2Black Dog Institute, Facts & figures about mental health. Accessed July 2017
3Australian Network on Disability, DISABILITY STATISTICS. Accessed July 2017
4Hear-it, Hearing aids and cochlear implants significantly improve depressive symptoms caused by untreated hearing loss. Accessed July 2017