As we get older, we all recognize that hearing loss and particular mental health challenges can progress in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And a strong link between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be dismissed. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to suffer from depression. Compared to individuals who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have untreated hearing loss.
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 enjoyed.
Let’s explore this fascinating study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be totally altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. 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. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. This study demonstrates just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
This important and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How the research was conducted
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a combination of hearing aid wearers and those with untreated hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to determine the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by including over 2000 family members of the research participants. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. With this added 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 suffering from depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or extreme loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with untreated hearing loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in individuals who cope with depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
The danger of falls for older people is also increased when a person has depression.
As the hearing loss progresses, so does the depression. The person becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
About 75% of people who need hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! Many people have the means to protect themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason avoid taking the steps.
Why do so many people avoid using a hearing aid?
When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many people say they do own one. They just don’t use it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid update. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
A smaller but significant number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The connection between disregarded hearing loss and overall health hazards is now beginning to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible. And neglected hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t take into consideration. They don’t understand how hearing loss effects their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be minimized?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Show people how much better you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help remove the stigma.
Optimize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult 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.