Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you age. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
Depression is twice as likely in people who have untreated hearing loss. In contrast to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have untreated hearing loss.
They were also 39% more likely to think the people around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social experiences they once enjoyed.
Let’s explore this fascinating 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!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be totally changed by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless condition for centuries. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. People would simply go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
Of course we now know that isn’t the case. 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 significant study.
How the research was conducted
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help validate what the participants were reporting. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more pertinent.
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 cause severe obesity or significant weight loss. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with untreated hearing loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can result in severe injury. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
As the hearing loss progresses, depression gets worse. The person often becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Around 75% of people who should use hearing aids don’t use them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its unwanted impacts are entirely unnecessary and preventable, yet they are not taking measures to stop it.
Why do so many individuals avoid using a hearing aid?
When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many individuals say they own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect using it. They’re embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid update. Present day hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
Price is also a problem for a smaller yet substantial number of people. The link between neglected hearing loss and total health risks is now starting to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of individuals don’t take into consideration. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.
What can be done to reduce hearing-related depression symptoms?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much better 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 from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid for a while, meet with us for a demo.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.