It is widely known and accepted that hearing loss is connected to a decline in cognitive function in elderly subjects. Now, however, a new study seeks to explore the connection between hearing loss in the elderly and the growth of anxiety in older populations.

 

Anxiety linked to hearing loss in elderly populations

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The study, presented by Kevin J. Contrera of the John Hopkins School of Medicine—along with many others—sought to establish a correlation between hearing loss and anxiety by polling a population of over two thousand participants between the ages of 76 and 85. The study asked questions related to a numbered scale of intensity of response, attempting to establish the subject’s fearfulness and nervousness over the span of a week.

What the study found was a marked increase in the probability of anxiety in those subjects who exhibited mild to moderate hearing impairment. While this data isn’t particularly surprising to hearing-care professionals, the study also showed that there was no statistical improvement in the symptoms of anxiety for those subjects who used hearing aids as opposed to those who did not.

While the study did conclusively correlate hearing impairment with increased odds of anxiety in older adults, it was very clear in its assertion that more studies are needed to examine the correlation between hearing loss and so-called “incident anxiety.” Likewise, the study concluded that studies connecting hearing rehabilitative treatments to a decrease in anxiety were necessary.

At the Oklahoma Hearing Center, our professionals are very interested in following this and other studies that examine the relationship between hearing loss and psychological health. Hearing loss does not simply affect your hearing; multiple studies have shown that, if untreated, hearing loss can impact your physical well-being as well as your mental state.

It can be hard to seek help if you or a loved one is suffering from hearing loss. However, the staff at the Oklahoma Hearing Center is here to help, not only with hearing loss, but with all of the aspects of your life it can affect. If you have any questions regarding the treatment of hearing loss, don’t hesitate—contact our specialists today, so you can get back to feeling your best.

 

Citations:

http://oto.sagepub.com/content/153/1_suppl/P91.full#sec-27

http://www.betterhearing.org/news/keep-your-mind-fit-address-hearing-loss