Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you age. And a strong connection between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be overlooked. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
Depression is twice as likely in individuals who have untreated hearing loss. Compared to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have neglected hearing loss.
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 experiences they once enjoyed.
There’s an even sadder statistic you should know about, though you won’t like it very much. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss upside down
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered 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 wasn’t thought to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that’s not the case. This study illustrates just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and important study.
How was this research done?
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study carried out by dedicated 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 establish the levels of the following:
More than 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. When we talk about hearing loss, this study, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
Eating disorders like severe obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in individuals who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and loss of memory.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can lead to severe injury. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
As the hearing loss progresses, depression gets worse. The individual usually becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Around 75% of people who should use hearing aids don’t use them. That’s right. Many individuals have the ability to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many decide not to use a hearing aid
Many people who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They just don’t use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.
These people 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 feel more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also an issue for a smaller but substantial number of individuals. The link between neglected hearing loss and total health hazards is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and obtainable. Additionally, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t understand how hearing loss effects their overall life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in only a few years.
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’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Take a little time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every setting. 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 as soon as possible about the most effective way to utilize your hearing aid, especially if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.