Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you grow older. And a strong link between the two has been observed by scientists which should never be dismissed. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
People with neglected hearing loss are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Compared to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have untreated hearing loss.
They were also 39% more likely to think the people around them get annoyed for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social experiences they once enjoyed.
There’s an even sadder statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss on their heads
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition for centuries. It was believed that the other senses would merely compensate. The person would simply get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss was not believed to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Now we know better. This study presents just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How was this research done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this research and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were reporting. With this additional verification, this study becomes even more significant when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
Eating disorders like acute obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to experience insomnia and loss of memory.
They have reduced reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries when cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Healing is slower in individuals who suffer from depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The individual usually becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only around 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many people have the ability to protect themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why do so many people neglect using a hearing aid?
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many individuals say they do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect wearing it. They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be beneficial for these people. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.
A smaller but significant number of individuals say they can’t afford one. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the connection between neglected hearing loss and overall health. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and obtainable. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. In just a few years, your overall health cost can go up by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be reduced?
Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Show people how much better 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 learn the advanced features. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid in a while, contact us for a demo.
Consult us as soon as possible about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, especially if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.