Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you get older. And a strong link between the two has been discovered by scientists which should never be dismissed. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
Depression is twice as likely in people who are dealing with neglected hearing loss. Close to 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” in contrast to those who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to think the people around them get upset for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once loved.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be entirely altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” affliction. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would simply go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss was not thought to have any health impact besides the hearing impairment.
Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your general health is explored in this study.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How the research was conducted
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 individuals 50 and older. The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
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 study becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
Eating disorders like severe obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with untreated hearing loss.
They have decreased reaction time, which can result in significant injuries when cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase the risk of falling in older adults.
Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The individual often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
About 75% of individuals who should use hearing aids don’t wear them. Yup! Many individuals have the ability to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many choose not to use a hearing aid
Many people who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do 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 update. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and let people sync with devices. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller but substantial number of individuals. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between neglected hearing loss and overall health. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible. And untreated hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t think about. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.
What can you do to reduce hearing-related depression symptoms?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Take some time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.
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 put it in a drawer.