While we aspire to celebrate happiness, with stressful things going on in our world, it is normal to experience highs and lows of mood. If someone in your circle of life occasionally has these feelings, they are not alone. Sadly, research indicates “the prevalence of depression in patients ages 65 and older may be as high as 40% in hospitalized and 30% in nursing home patients, and 8-15% in community settings.” 1
Per the World Health Organization, mental health is a key component in the health and well-being of older adults and refers to the “state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” 2
These worthy goals emphasize the crucial benefits of personal relationships and socialization. Hearing and vision are vital in terms of human connection, as from precious sounds to beautiful sights, life is enriched when sensed to the best of our abilities. With hearing and vision loss both having age-related components, there are in-depth studies on what is referred to as Dual Sensory Loss or DSL.
According to peer-reviewed research:
“Public awareness of DSL is also not widespread and in turn, rehabilitation options have not been well-explored in many countries.” 1
“Unsurprisingly, a number of studies have consistently demonstrated a strong link between co-occurring vision and hearing loss, often referred to as dual sensory loss (DSL), and depressive symptoms.” 3
“Most notably, participation levels in socially engaging and mentally stimulating activities fully explained the increased depressive symptoms experienced by adults with sensory loss.” 4
1 Leon FG, Ashton AK, D’Mello DA, et al. Depression and comorbid medical illness: therapeutic and diagnostic challenges. J Fam Pract. 2003;Suppl:S19-33.
2 Heine C, Browning CJ. Mental health and dual sensory loss in older adults: a systematic review. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014;6:83.
3 Lupsakko T, Mantyjarvi M, Kautiainen H, Sulkava R. Combined hearing and visual impairment and depression in a population aged 75 years and older. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2002;17(9):808-813.
4 Kiely Kim, Anstey Kaarin, Luszcz Mary Sensory Loss and Depressive Symptoms: The Importance of Hearing, Daily Functioning, and Activity Engagement, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI=10.3389/fnhum.2013.00837
Throughout life, especially for Super Seniors in their Golden Years, maintaining control of and independence with activities of daily living encourages a positive sense of accomplishment. Driving is a classic example, as who wants to have “that conversation” with a loved one? In fact, clues and cues from sights and sounds are necessary to keep us and fellow passengers safe.
While DSL is sometimes self-perceived, other times evidence-based assessments by vision and hearing professionals are catalysts for necessary discovery. Either way, difficulties with sensory functions may lead to challenges navigating surroundings, which can be frustrating and negatively impact one’s happiness quotient.
More should be aware those with hearing and vision challenges have higher incident rates of depressive symptoms than the general population. Stay on the lookout, as there is more acute need for timely intervention when compound effects of sensory deprivation lessen abilities to manage activities of daily living, safely navigate home surroundings or feel self-confident. While precious sights and sounds delight, the converse is also true.
“Sometimes you never know the value of a moment
until it becomes a memory.”
While we take your hearing care seriously, a little laughter goes a long way.
Good Humor, Healthy Hearing
With Thanksgiving and the holidays coming soon, celebrate beautiful Sights & precious Sounds with your loved ones. It is mentally healthier to listen in rather than miss out, especially with hopes Covid will stay in rear-view mirrors. What sounds of the season do you look forward to experiencing at family gatherings, some nearby and others at distant destinations? By making sensible choices, you can hear and feel your best!
In strolling down memory lane, let’s be happy.
By getting your hearing tested regularly, we can be sure your prescriptive solutions are the best fit. When we talk about The Joys of Hearing, it is because your mental well-being and social vitality are naturally intertwined. We recognize taking care of your ears will add life to your years and while money can’t buy happiness, hearing better can help. May we see you soon?
Our Patients Say It Best
“The staff was incredibly professional, kind and understanding. Also they explained everything before proceeding. Thank you all.”
Since 1985 when I lost hearing in my left ear, I personally experienced the gaps in treatment options and necessary methodology to keep those affected by hearing loss connected. It has since been my focus to develop systems, processes, and methods, like THE MA5P METHODTM, to address the individual needs of my patients and create a solution that fits their lifestyle. If you are experiencing issues with your current Prescription Hearing Aid, I invite you to visit us to discuss ways to keep you connected to the things you love.