When two or more health conditions occur together, they are said to be comorbidities. If you have dual sensory impairment, or combined hearing and vision loss, two potential comorbidities are depression and anxiety, according to recent research. We review more about the study below.
About the Study
The study, entitled “Combined Vision and Hearing Difficulties Results in Higher Levels of Depression and Chronic Anxiety: Data From a Large Sample of Spanish Adults,” was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology in 2021. Researchers are from the United Kingdom, Spain and France.
While individually, vision and hearing loss have been linked to higher levels of depression and anxiety, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of dual sensory impairment in a large sample of Spanish adults.
Data was collected from 23,089 participants ages 15 to 103 years from the Spanish National Health Survey 2017. The researchers analyzed self-reported rates of hearing loss, vision loss, depression and anxiety.
After analyzing the data, they found that those with dual sensory loss were 3.85 times more likely to experience depression and 3.38 times more likely to experience anxiety than the general population.
Why the Link?
According to lead study author Professor Shahina Pardhan, “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.”
Getting Treatment for Sensory Loss
The gold standard of treatment for hearing loss is use of hearing aids, which are medical devices that work by amplifying sounds in your environment to a level you can detect. An audiologist at North Alabama ENT Associates can diagnose your hearing loss and fit you with a set of hearing aids.
Vision loss is usually treated with eyeglasses or contacts. You can see an ophthalmologist in your area for treatment.
Getting Treatment for Depression & Anxiety
There are many treatment options available for depression and anxiety, including:
- Getting regular exercise at Light on Yoga Fitness on Humes Avenue
- Eating a balanced diet
- Spending time outdoors
- Seeing a therapist
- Taking medication
For more information or to schedule an appointment with a hearing expert, call North Alabama ENT Associates today.