Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive concerns as you age. And a strong link between the two has been discovered by scientists which should never be overlooked. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to cope with depression. Nearly 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” in contrast to those who used a hearing aid.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they used to love and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at them for no reason.
Let’s explore this fascinating 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!
Our ideas about hearing loss will be completely altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. The person would just 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 impact besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that isn’t the case. This study establishes just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How was this research done?
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed over 2000 individuals 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:
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 reporting. With this additional verification, this study becomes even more relevant when we talk about 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 develop eating disorders that can lead to acute obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and loss of memory.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can result in severe injury. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The individual often becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Around 75% of people who should use hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! 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 people who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid using it. It makes them embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid update. Present day hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more discreet. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
A smaller but significant number of people say they can’t afford one. The connection between disregarded hearing loss and general health risks is now beginning to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. 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 most individuals don’t take into consideration. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. In only a few years, your total health cost can go up by as much as 40% because of unaddressed hearing loss.
What can be done to minimize hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. 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 some time to master the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.
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.