As we age, we all know that hearing loss and particular mental health challenges can progress despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And a strong link 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. Close to 27% more people with untreated hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that the people around them get annoyed for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social experiences they once loved.
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
Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless affliction for centuries. It was believed that the other senses would merely compensate. People would simply go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Beyond hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other negative health effects.
Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is investigated in this study.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.
How was this study done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a mix of hearing aid wearers and those with neglected hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they reported helped to give the participant’s comments validity. When we discuss hearing loss, this study, with the added verification, becomes even more relevant.
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 cause acute obesity or extreme loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.
They have decreased reaction time, which can result in significant injuries whilst cooking, driving, cleaning, 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 progresses as hearing loss advances. The person often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
About 75% of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. Many individuals have the means to protect themselves from depression by using 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 just won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be advantageous for these individuals. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and let people sync with devices. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller yet substantial number of individuals. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the link between untreated hearing loss and overall health. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. Additionally, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects 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 minimized?
Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Help combat 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 a little time to learn the advanced features. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid for a while, contact us for a demo.
If you feel you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, speak with us today about how to use your hearing aid more effectively.