Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you get older. And a strong link between the two has been discovered by scientists which should never be overlooked. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
Depression is two times as likely in people who have untreated hearing loss. Nearly 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 annoyed for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once enjoyed.
Let’s look at this interesting study and an even sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be entirely transformed by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless condition for centuries. It was believed that the other senses would merely compensate. People would just go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
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 important study.
How the study was carried out
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by including over 2000 family members of the study participants. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. When we talk about hearing loss, this research, with the extra verification, becomes even more relevant.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can lead to acute obesity or extreme loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their reduced reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in people who suffer from depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
The chance of falls for older people is also increased when a person has depression.
Depression progresses as hearing loss advances. The individual becomes less able to care 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 should use hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative impacts are completely unnecessary and preventable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.
Why do so many people avoid using a hearing aid?
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many individuals say they do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be advantageous for these individuals. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and let people sync with devices. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart technology.
A smaller but considerable number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the connection between untreated hearing loss and total health. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and obtainable. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
What can be done to decrease hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Help fight the stigma people feel about using a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.
Take some 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. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
If you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, talk to us today about how to use your hearing aid more successfully.