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 observed by scientists which should never be overlooked. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
Depression is two times as likely in people who have neglected hearing loss. About 27% more individuals with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 24% more likely to stop doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel as if people are angry with them for no reason.
Let’s look at this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss upside down
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. The person would simply get by and go on to live the rest of their life healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that’s not the case. This study presents 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 important study.
How was this research done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. People with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically relevant questions were asked to determine the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the research participants. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. When we talk about hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How depression affects health and quality of life
Eating disorders such as acute obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in individuals who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with untreated hearing loss.
They have decreased reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries when cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The risk of falls for older people is also elevated when an individual suffers from depression.
As the hearing loss progresses, depression gets worse. The individual becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only around 25% of individuals who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative impacts are entirely unnecessary and preventable, yet they’re not taking measures to stop it.
Why so many choose not to wear a hearing aid
Many people who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They simply won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid update. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller but substantial number of individuals. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the connection between neglected hearing loss and overall health. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more available and affordable. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t think about. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in only a few years.
What can you do to minimize hearing-related depression symptoms?
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.
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 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, particularly if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.