Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you age. And a strong connection between the two has been discovered by scientists which should never be ignored. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
People with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to suffer from depression. Compared to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 39% more likely to think those around them get upset for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social experiences they once loved.
Let’s look at this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. 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. People would simply go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.
Now we know better. This study demonstrates just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s overall health.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.
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). The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by including more than 2000 family members of the research participants. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. With this additional verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can result in acute obesity or extreme loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with untreated hearing loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can result in severe injury. Healing is slower in people who suffer from depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
The chance of falling for older people is also elevated when a person suffers from depression.
Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The person becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only about 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many people have the means to shield themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many decide not to use a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many people say they own one. They just won’t wear it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them 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 discreet. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
A smaller but considerable number of people say they can’t afford one. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between neglected hearing loss and general health. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. And untreated hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of individuals don’t take into account. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be minimized?
Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Help combat the stigma people feel about wearing a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.
Maximize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to learn the advanced features. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid for a while, contact us for a demo.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.