September is National Suicide Prevention Month, which is dedicated to promoting suicide prevention awareness through sharing resources and stories. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 46% of people who die by suicide had a known mental health condition. However, there are several other risk factors such as prolonged stress and serious or chronic medical illnesses; this can include hearing loss. Unfortunately, many people are still unaware of the connection between hearing loss and mental health. According to the Hearing Health Foundation, hearing loss can increase the risk of developing depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, and dementia, and can trigger episodes of extreme anger and suicidal ideation.
About 2 million Americans suffer from chronic tinnitus, which is a type of hearing loss that causes ringing or buzzing in the ears. Chronic tinnitus can be severe enough to make daily functions difficult, leading to insomnia, anxiety and depression; Tinnitus has also been linked to suicidal tendencies.
Fortunately, there is help and hope. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers found that those who received treatment for their tinnitus had a reduced risk of attempting suicide due to improvements in their quality of life. Sound therapy and hearing aids are two common treatments for tinnitus patients. In addition to enhancing your hearing, hearing aids will also help by blocking out the noise caused by tinnitus.
Multiple studies over the years have proven that hearing loss treatments such as hearing aids can increase the overall quality of life for those suffering from other types of hearing loss as well. Benefits of hearing aids include better hearing overall and improved clarity of speech in noisy environments or over distance, which makes it easier for hearing loss patients to enjoy social environments and have better performance at work.
As hearing technology continues to evolve and become more accessible, the fight against loosening the connection between hearing loss and mental health issues becomes stronger. If you or someone you love is experiencing hearing loss, it is important to seek treatment options as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding hearing loss or treatment, contact the experts at New Generation Hearing Centers.
For more information on how you can help raise suicide prevention awareness, visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.