You may or may not have seen articles or heard about Hearing loss and its connection to mental illness, including contributing to feelings of isolation and depression.

How is that possible you may ask? Well, it’s a known fact that people with hearing loss, particularly older adults, tend to retreat from social interactions with family and friends. In one study, the severity of social isolation and depression increased as the severity of hearing loss increased.

How does social participation affect our mental health?

According to Statistics Canada, 80 % of seniors who participated in at least one social activity were less likely to report poor perceived health, feelings of loneliness, or a dissatisfaction with life.


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The more activities they were involved in, the more positive their perception was of their health, social interactions and their overall outlook on life.

Signs of social isolation and depression include feelings of…

  • Sadness
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Emptiness
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Suicidal thoughts

Health risk factors

Social Isolation can impact your mental health, but what about your physical wellbeing?

Research has shown that older adults face a higher risk of health issues like impaired mobility, lung disease, heart disease and even death.

In Canada one in six seniors – a demographic that according to Canada’s 2016 census now outnumbers children - are socially isolated.

Hearing loss treatment and its effect on social participation

In most cases, permanent hearing loss is treated with hearing aids. When you turn up the volume on life, you usually improve your quality of life.

Treating hearing loss has been shown to positively affect things like earning power, group social participation and one’s perception of their own mental wellness.

Treating your hearing loss with hearing aids may also lead to a decrease in the instance of anger and frustration in relationships, depression, anxiety and social phobias.

Losing your hearing affects more than just your ears. Treating hearing loss contributes to a holistic approach to better health that involves treating your mind, body and spirit.

If you have concerns about hearing, think you may be hard-of-hearing, or know someone who you think needs help, contact your local hearing healthcare provider about a hearing test and hearing aids.

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