There is a link between depression and hearing loss. Recent findings from the Journal of American Medical Association, found that people aged 18 to 69 are more likely to experience “significant depression” than those above 70 with hearing loss and women of all ages.

“It is not surprising to me that they would be more likely to be depressed,” said James Firman, president and CEO of the National Council on Aging. “People with hearing loss, especially those who don’t use hearing aids, find it more difficult to communicate with other people, whether in family situations, social gatherings or at work.”

“When people are depressed they withdraw from society, they have a sense of helplessness. They often stay secluded in their homes and have a feeling of getting old thus they do not seek medical help. There is a stigma of hearing loss and getting old” states Chris Boucher, business manager of Great Scott Audiology in Topsham. “We are trying to let people know that hearing loss can affect anyone at any age and there are some possible simple solutions.”

Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year. While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32!

Especially in the elderly, hearing loss can impair the exchange of information, thus significantly impacting everyday life, causing loneliness, isolation, dependence, and frustration, as well as communication disorders.
Symptoms of depression include lack of energy, loss of appetite, irritability, feeling withdrawn, worthless, hopeless, discouragement, weight gain, and fatigue.

If you know of someone that may have symptoms of depression, a simple hearing screening may help them. A hearing screening usually takes less than five minutes.

If you would like to schedule a free hearing screening, a full evaluation, purchase hearing aids or noise reduction molds, would like to discuss the new technology, such as rechargeable units or Bluetooth capabilities, or have a simple question, please feel free to call Dr. Richards at Great Scott Audiology at 729-4086.

Great Scott Audiology has been in business for over 10 years and is located at 3 Horton Place in Topsham. For more information, please visit their website at www.greatscotttaudiology.com.