Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and certain cognitive concerns 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.
Depression is twice as likely in people who are dealing with untreated hearing loss. In contrast to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have untreated hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel like people are mad at them for no reason.
Let’s look at this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss upside down
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. The person would simply get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t thought 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 important and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.
How the study was carried out
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study conducted by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a mix of hearing aid wearers and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:
The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can lead to acute obesity or extreme loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with untreated hearing loss.
They have diminished reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries while cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Healing is slower in individuals who cope with depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
Depression worsens as hearing loss advances. The individual often becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only around 25% of individuals who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. That’s right. Many individuals 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 individuals neglect using a hearing aid?
Many individuals who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid update. Present day 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 significant number of people. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between untreated hearing loss and total health. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of individuals don’t think about. 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 only a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?
Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Help fight the stigma people feel about using a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.
Maximize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some 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.
If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, speak with us today about how to use your hearing aid more successfully.