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Study Shows Link Between Hearing Loss and Depression

Over the past forty years the greatest joy of our business is providing the gift of better hearing. Difficulty hearing is one of the most common conditions among older adults. Many people make lifestyle adjustments rather than seek help. With the new advances in technology now is an ideal time to consider an evaluation. At Hopco Hearing Center, we have made a commitment to professional service, quality products and low prices. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Choice - There are over 200 manufacturers we can service. Everyone's hearing loss and lifestyle is different... So we offer a wide variety.

Follow-up - All aids come with a 60 day trial... We see you weekly during this time to assure your adjustments and the aids adjustment are satisfactory.

Continued Education - Every year we attend conventions and manufacturer seminars to keep up the latest fitting news and technology. We are members of nationally accredited American Speech and Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiologists and the International Hearing Society.

Researchers from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health, have found a strong association between hearing impairment and depression among U.S. adults of all ages, particularly in women. The findings were similar among whites, blacks, and Hispanics.

Chuan-Ming Li, M.D., Ph.D., in the Epidemiology and Statistics Program at the NIDCD, was the lead author of the study. The researchers used 2005-10 data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). NHANES is a nationally representative survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)). 

The findings are based on self-reports of hearing loss among adults ages 18 or older along with a standard questionnaire to assess depression based on the frequency and severity of symptoms. Adults 70 or older were also tested for hearing loss by trained examiners in an NHANES mobile examination center.

The prevalence of moderate to severe depression was higher among U.S. adults aged 18 or older with self-reported hearing impairment (11.4 percent) compared to those without hearing impairment (5.9 percent).

Among men and women 70 years or older, self-reported hearing loss was not associated with depression. However, women (but not men) whose hearing tests revealed moderate hearing loss were more likely to be depressed than those who did not have hearing loss.

The researchers note that health professionals may be better able to improve the quality of life among people with hearing impairment by recognizing the signs and symptoms of depression and referring patients for mental health services.

Co-authors of the paper include scientists from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, the National Eye Institute, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.