How hearing loss and depression are connected

Posted by Karl Bates-Duke | Duke University | See Original Article Here Hearing loss can create chronic stress that can lead to depression, but high levels of social support—from family, friends, and others—can help alleviate depression, according to new research. Given that hearing loss is a growing social and physical health problem, the study suggests a need for increased vigilance regarding hearing loss among older adults, says study author Jessica West, a PhD student in sociology at Duke University. Here, West discusses her research, which appears in the journal Social Science & Medicine. Q: Your research examines the correlation between hearing loss and depression. That seems a logical connection: why study it in the way you did? A: Despite how common hearing loss is, it is actually quite understudied. A handful of studies have looked at the relationship between hearing loss and mental health over time, but the results from these studies are mixed: some find a relationship between hearing loss and more depressive symptoms, while others do not. On top of the mixed findings, most studies have been based overseas, and studies based in the US have tended to use state-specific datasets, like the Alameda County Study, which drew from Oakland and Berkeley, CA. I use the Health and Retirement Study, which is nationally representative of adults aged 50 and older in the US, and therefore more generalizable to the US population. I frame hearing loss as a physical health stressor that can impact mental health, and that social support can alter this relationship by preventing a person from experiencing stress or reducing the severity of a reaction to it....

Hearing loss can be very isolating, hurting relationships with family and friends

By Consumer Reports February 17 at 2:00 PM | See Original Article Here Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with any advertisers on this site. We’ve known for a while that hearing loss can increase the risk of depression and issues related to concentration and memory, and possibly even dementia. Now, mounting research, including a recent British review of studies, suggests that hearing problems can take a significant toll on relationships with spouses, children, friends and ­co-workers. “Hearing loss is a family issue, not just an individual one,” explains Catherine Palmer, director of audiology and hearing aids at the University of Pittsburgh, who was not involved in the British research. “It’s long been understood that a person with hearing loss may start to withdraw from social situations, but there’s been less focus on the effects on their partners — the social isolation as well as the burden of being a loved ones ‘ears.’ ” Here’s what to know about this research and how to curb social problems related to hearing loss. What the research shows The research, conducted at the University of Nottingham and published in the journal Trends in Hearing, looked at more than 70 previous studies on the complaints made by people with hearing loss and those closest to them. “We found that hearing loss impacted people’s social relationships in all facets of their life,” says lead study author and audiologist Venessa Vas. “Oftentimes, both parties became depressed and socially withdrawn.” Spouses, in particular, reported feeling anxious and stressed about their partners’ hearing loss. “The whole process is draining for them, as they often have to serve as another set...

Few Researchers Consider the Effect of Hearing Loss in Physician/Patient Communication, NYU Study Finds

Few Researchers Consider the Effect of Hearing Loss in Physician/Patient Communication, NYU Study Finds April 5, 2017 | NYU Health and Medicine | See Original Here Of the 67 papers reviewed, only 16 (23.9%) included any mention of the effects that hearing loss can have on health care interactions. Doctors believe that communication with their patients is important, but most studies of physician/elderly patient communication do not mention that hearing loss may affect this interaction. The findings come from a review led by two NYU professors published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Many researchers have explored communication between doctors and their patients, but how many of them have considered the importance of hearing loss? To investigate this question, a team led by Dr. Joshua Chodosh of New York University School of Medicine and Dr. Jan Blustein,  the NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and the School of Medicine, reviewed the published medical literature on doctor-patient communication, selecting research studies that involved patients aged 60 years and older. Of the 67 papers included in their study, only 16 (23.9%) included any mention of hearing loss. In some cases (4 out of the 67), people with hearing loss were excluded from the study. Three of the studies reported on an association between hearing loss and quality of care. In only one study did the researchers offer patients some kind of hearing assistance to see whether it would improve communication. (It found that offering hearing assistance improved patients’ understanding.) “Hearing loss has long been neglected in the medical community,” said Chodosh. “As a geriatrician, I see many patients...

You’re right, nobody listens to you — here’s why

You’re right, nobody listens to you — here’s why Jenna Goudreau | Jan. 14, 2016 | See Original Here We’ve become a nation of phone zombies with average attention spans of 8.25 seconds — less than a goldfish. The result? Already bad listening skills have gotten worse, and managers are no exception. According to ResourcefulManager.com, a website that offers advice and resources for managers, the average Fortune 500 manager scores a 2 out of 5 on listening abilities. There’s a cost: errors, miscommunication, wasted time, and employee turnover. ResourcefulManager created the following infographic to highlight the growing problem. ResourcefulManager.com SEE ALSO: These 2 words could reveal if you’re a bad listener NOW WATCH: 4 ways to make your workday more...

Are You Hearing This?

Are You Hearing This? Frank Lin’s research ties hearing loss to dementia, with big implications for public health: Unbundled, accessible audiology services and reimbursement for audiologic rehabilitation could be key, he says, to battling cognitive decline associated with hearing loss. Haley Blum – The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 50-57. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR3.20062015.50 VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE Spend some time listening to Frank Lin talk about dementia, and you’ll never look at hearing loss the same way. Research by Lin and his team reveals a strong association between untreated hearing loss and the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults—a link that poses big public health problems because of the aging population, says Lin, an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, geriatric medicine, mental health, and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. As many as 5 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease—just one specific type of dementia—and that number will increase significantly with current population trends, according to the National Institute on Aging, unless something’s done to treat or prevent it. Lin’s work focuses on three main questions surrounding the dementia-hearing loss link: What are the consequences of hearing loss (which affects about two-thirds of everyone older than 70) for older adults? Does treating hearing loss make a difference? And how do we address the issue from a big-picture, societal perspective? Lin, who will be the opening speaker at the research symposium during the ASHA 2015 Convention, spoke with the Leader about his work, the future of hearing health care and what that all means for older adults. Do we have any insights into the association...