Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you grow older. And a strong connection between the two has been observed by scientists which should never be dismissed. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. Close to 27% more people with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” in contrast to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that the people around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once loved.
There’s an even sadder statistic you should know about, though you won’t like it very much. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
Our ideas about hearing loss will be totally changed by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless condition for centuries. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would just go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other negative health effects.
Now we know better. This study presents just one of the larger effects that hearing loss has on a person’s overall health.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How was this research done?
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research conducted by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). Individuals with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help validate what the participants were self-reporting. With this added verification, this study becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can lead to acute obesity or significant weight loss. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with untreated hearing loss.
They have diminished reaction time, which can result in significant injuries when cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The risk of falls for older people is also elevated when a person has depression.
Depression worsens as hearing loss advances. The individual often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only about 25% of people who need hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many individuals have the means to shield themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?
Many individuals who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid wearing it. They’re embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Today’s hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller but substantial number of people. The link between untreated hearing loss and overall health risks is now beginning to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more available and affordable. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which most people don’t think about. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. In only a few years, your overall health cost can increase by as much as 40% because of unaddressed hearing loss.
What can be done to lessen hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help remove the stigma.
Maximize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to master the advanced features. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to utilize your hearing aid, particularly if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.