Study links hearing loss to depression, isolation

The article entitled, “Study Links Hearing Loss to Depression”, describes the harsh reality of those with hearing loss or who are hard-of –hearing. It tells how hearing loss can effect any age however; it is more prevalent among aging seniors. The article informs that more than 30 million Americans are affected by hearing loss, which is usually occurred by illness, injury, or exposure to loud noise.

There was a study conducted in 1990 by the National Center for Health Statistics, which showed that hearing loss accounts for a third of the most common chronic health problem among the senior population. Other functional problems associated with hearing loss the article mentioned were forgetfulness, inattentiveness, and or mental dullness. Some audiologists, hearing care professionals, attended a conference to observed the affects of untreated hearing loss. The NCOA, National Council on the Aging revealed that because of untreated hearing loss it often leads to isolation, depression, sadness, paranoia, anxiety and a decrease in social activities.

The article mentioned with today’s state-of –the-art technology there is hope for those who are hard of hearing to live a happy and productive life. Digital hearing aids provide those who are hard-of-hearing with sounds, which are clear in different surroundings. This is made possible by a computer chip within the hearing aid that can process sounds up to one million times per second, adjusts according to your hearing needs and can filter out background noise. In addition, they can be programmed for each individual hearing loss along with improving the phone usage.

In closing, I never realize (and often take for granted) how hearing is an important element human contact. What really bought it to my attention was a statement made by Helen Keller (a women mention in the article discussing deafness), when she said, “A worse misfortune than being blind (because) when you lose your vision you lose contact with things, when you lose your hearing you lose contact with people.” This bold yet realistic statement makes people who can hear feel bless and start appreciating the things they take for granted in life, communication.