Women and Hearing Loss
As many as one-third of women in their 50s and two-thirds of women in their 60s are facing some degree of hearing loss. Beyond that, the pervasiveness of hearing loss in younger adults, specifically those in their 20s and 30s, is increasing. But while women are statistically more likely than men to admit to hearing loss, the number of women seeking treatment is still surprisingly low.
The Side Effects
Unfortunately, if left untreated, hearing loss can affect a woman’s quality of life. In fact, a study performed by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reported that women with hearing loss are twice as likely to develop depression as those without hearing loss. A loss of hearing can cause women to disengage from social interaction. Activities that require considerable communication with others are not enjoyable anymore – they’re stressful. This isolation can quickly spiral into a depression that’s tough to manage.
Knowing the Signs of Hearing Loss
Since depression is a common side effect of hearing loss, it’s important to recognize the signs. The more obvious symptoms of depression include sadness and feelings of hopelessness, but other lesser known symptoms can be equally as devastating. Fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, and loss of interest in social activities can all interfere with normal functioning. And since women are the social hub of groups and families, their depression can have a ripple effect that touches all of their loved ones.
The Importance of Getting Tested
For a woman dealing with depression caused by or worsened by an underlying loss of hearing, a hearing test could help her avoid unnecessary medications and re-engage in life. Hearing aids can provide immense relief, and there are numerous types available depending on the outcome you desire. To get paired with the appropriate device, visit a hearing professional to get your hearing tested. He or she can determine the type of hearing loss, as well as the degree, and make recommendations based on your results.
With the holidays just around the corner, activities and get-togethers will start to fill your social calendar. Address any underlying hearing loss so that you can actively participate in the joys of the season.