As we get older, we all know that hearing loss and particular mental health challenges can get worse in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have discovered a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be ignored and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
Individuals with neglected hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. About 27% more people with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to people 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 steer clear of social activities they once enjoyed.
Let’s explore this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss on their heads
Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless condition for centuries. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would just go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Beyond hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your overall health is explored in this study.
This important and well-structured study forces us to reconsider 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. Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by including more than 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. 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 impacted by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can lead to severe obesity or extreme loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with untreated hearing loss.
They have diminished reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries whilst cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Healing is slower in people who suffer from depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
The chance of falling for older people is also increased when a person has depression.
As the hearing loss advances, so does the depression. The individual becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
About 75% of individuals who should use hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. Many people have the ability to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason avoid taking the steps.
Why so many decide not to use a hearing aid
Many individuals who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just avoid wearing it. They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be beneficial for these individuals. Present day 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.
A smaller but considerable number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The connection between disregarded hearing loss and general health risks is now starting to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. Additionally, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 40% in only a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be reduced?
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 get rid of the stigma.
Optimize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from 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 use your hearing aid, especially if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.