Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you get older. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be ignored and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Depression is two times as likely in individuals who have neglected hearing loss. Compared to individuals who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel like people are mad at them for no reason.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t really like it. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be totally altered by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition 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. Hearing loss was not believed to have any health impact besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. This study establishes just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How was this research done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this study and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they documented helped to give the participant’s comments validity. With this added verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to experience insomnia and memory loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can result in severe injury. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The danger of falls for older people is also increased when a person suffers from depression.
Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The individual usually becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Around 75% of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. Many individuals have the means to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many choose not to wear 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 neglect wearing it. They’re embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid update. 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 technology and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller but significant number of people. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the link between neglected hearing loss and total health. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more available and cost-effective. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t recognize how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be minimized?
Wear your hearing aid with pride. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you can 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 situation. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid for a while, contact us for a demo.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to utilize your hearing aid, particularly if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.