Two or more health conditions that occur together are called comorbidities. If you have combined hearing and vision loss, also known as dual sensory loss, you’re at an increased risk of developing the comorbidities, depression and anxiety. We review what the research shows and how to seek treatment below.
About the Study
The study is called, “Combined Vision and Hearing Difficulties Results in Higher Levels of Depression and Chronic Anxiety: Data From a Large Sample of Spanish Adults.” It was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in 2021. Researchers are from the United Kingdom, Spain and France.
The purpose of the study was to investigate the effect of dual sensory impairment in a large sample, as, individually, hearing and vision loss have already been linked to these mental health disorders.
Researchers collected data from 23,089 participants ages 15 to 103 years from the Spanish National Health Survey 2017. They analyzed self-reported rates of hearing loss, vision loss, depression and anxiety.
Once they analyzed the data, they concluded that those with dual sensory impairment are 3.85 times more likely to experience depression and 3.38 times more likely to experience anxiety than the general population.
Lead study author Professor Shahina Pardhan reports, “Difficulties with seeing and hearing affects many aspects of everyday life. It can affect ability to work, interaction with others and carry out physical activity, all of which are important for emotional wellbeing. Our study has found a significantly increased risk of mental health issues like depression and chronic anxiety if people suffer both vision and hearing loss.”
Treatment for Sensory Loss
Hearing aids are the gold standard treatment for hearing loss. They work by amplifying sounds in your environment to a level your ears can easily detect. An audiologist at River ENT can prescribe and fit hearing aids following a comprehensive hearing exam.
Glasses or contacts work well to treat most cases of vision loss. An ophthalmologist in your area can conduct a vision test and prescribe treatment.
Treatment for Mental Health Disorders
Depression and anxiety can both be treated with:
- Regular exercise
- A balanced diet
- Time outdoors
- A therapist
To learn more about this link or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call River ENT today.