Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and specific cognitive challenges as you age. And scientists have discovered a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
People with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. Compared to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to stop doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel like people are angry with them for no reason.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t like it very much. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be completely altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered a “harmless” condition. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. People would simply go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Beyond hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
Now we know better. 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 study done?
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this research and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid wearers and those with neglected hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they reported helped to give the participant’s comments validity. When we discuss hearing loss, this study, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
Eating disorders such as acute obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in those who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and loss of memory.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their reduced reaction time can result in severe injury. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The chance of falling for older people is also elevated when a person suffers from depression.
As the hearing loss advances, depression gets worse. The person often becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Around 75% of individuals who should use hearing aids don’t wear them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative effects are entirely unnecessary and preventable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.
Why so many choose not to wear a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many individuals say they own one. They think it makes them look old so they just avoid wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be worthwhile for these individuals. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and let people sync with devices. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
A smaller but significant number of people say they can’t afford one. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the link between untreated hearing loss and total health. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. And untreated hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of individuals don’t take into consideration. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Help fight the stigma people feel about wearing a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.
Optimize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to learn the advanced features. 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, contact us for a demo.
Consult us as soon as possible about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.