Proof that HEARING LOSS really is a serious issue and disability.
More than 1 million people in Arizona and more than 48 million people nationwide experience some form of hearing loss.
According to American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the number of Americans with hearing loss has doubled over the past 30 years. This month, Better Hearing and Speech Month serves as an important reminder of the significance hearing loss treatment plays not only in our hearing health, but in our mental health as well.
May is also Mental Health Month. These two causes have more in common than just sharing the same month. Recent research shows that a person’s mental health can be affected by untreated hearing loss. According to Dr. Samuel Trychin, a psychologist and mental health and rehabilitation advisor for the Hearing Loss Association of America, hearing loss can result in a variety of additional mental health complaints.
Dealing with any type of loss is a major issue when providing mental health services to people. Individuals who are hard of hearing or late-deafened experience a profound sense of loss and isolation. Trychin believes that this underlying sense of loss may be related to the feeling of “no longer being the person I once was.”
Scientific studies have also begun to produce evidence that links depression, increased cognitive decline and social isolation to untreated hearing loss. According to American Academy of Audiology, the National Council of Aging studied 2,300 people, 50 and older, with hearing loss and found that those with untreated hearing loss were more likely to report depression, anxiety and paranoia.