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There are several likely reasons that loss of hearing leads to depression in so many. Communication, which is vital to social interactions, becomes a source of stress when someone has to strain to hear others speak, and frequent misunderstandings result in embarrassment. After a while, people with untreated hearing loss begin to avoid social situations, particularly if they involve loud surroundings like parties or crowded restaurants where understanding speech is even more difficult.
Withdrawal tends to progress until the person gradually quits on life, choosing to remain in silent isolation rather than struggle to hear and communicate publicly. Hearing loss sufferers may think they simply cannot be helped because hearing loss is a "terminal" condition for which there is no cure. Older patients may feel their hearing loss is a signal that they are simply too old to participate in social activities. Cutting oneself off from society and activities is a red flag for depression.
Falls are responsible for numerous injuries and deaths among Americans 65 and older. Older adults commonly experience brain injuries, hip and other bone fractures after a fall. Beyond the human cost, these serious conditions generate billions of dollars in healthcare expenses due to extended hospital stays, surgical interventions, and related treatments.
One of three adults (age 65 and older) falls each year, and falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries. The association between hearing loss and increased chance of falling is considered clinically significant. Research is ongoing, but it is reasonable to suggest that physicians inform patients of the link between hearing loss and falls, to advise having hearing tested annually, and to encourage patients to wear hearing aids when recommended by their hearing care professional.
Hearing loss decreases awareness of the surrounding environment and increases cognitive load. In turn, this raises the potential for falls.
Multiple studies indicate hearing loss can be linked to the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Leaving hearing loss untreated could pose a serious risk that has not been widely shared with the hearing-impaired population.
Seniors with hearing loss are significantly more likely to develop dementia over time than those who retain their hearing. Declines in hearing abilities may accelerate gray matter atrophy and increase the listening effort to comprehend speech....Hearing aids may not only improve hearing but preserve the brain. Providing this information will encourage patients and their loved ones to make more informed and timely decisions about their hearing care.