As we get older, we all know that hearing loss and specific mental health challenges can worsen in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have recognized a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Depression is twice as likely in individuals who have neglected 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 24% more likely to stop doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at 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 be aware of. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
Our ideas about hearing loss will be totally altered by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless affliction for centuries. It was thought 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 negative health effects.
Of course we now know that’s not the situation. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is investigated in this study.
As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and significant study.
How was this research done?
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this research and surveyed over 2000 individuals 50 and older. The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to identify the levels of:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the extra verification, becomes even more relevant.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can cause acute 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 reduced reaction time can result in severe injury. Healing is slower in people who cope with depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
The chance of falling for older people is also increased when a person suffers from depression.
Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The person often becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Around 75% of people who need hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. Many individuals have the means to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many choose not to wear a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many individuals say they own one. They simply don’t use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them 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 discreet. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
A smaller but considerable number of people say they can’t afford one. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the connection between untreated hearing loss and general health. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and obtainable. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in only a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be reduced?
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 remove the stigma.
Optimize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to master 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 try out these upgraded hearing aids.
If you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, speak with us today about how to use your hearing aid more successfully.