Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you grow older. And scientists have recognized a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be dismissed and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Depression is twice as likely in individuals who are dealing with untreated hearing loss. Compared to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have untreated hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel like people are mad at them for no reason.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
Our ideas about hearing loss will be entirely altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. The person would simply get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Beyond hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other negative health effects.
Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your general health is investigated in this study.
As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How the research was conducted
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a mix of hearing aid wearers and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
More than 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
Eating disorders like severe obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in those 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 reduced reaction time, which can result in severe injuries whilst cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
As the hearing loss advances, depression gets worse. The person often 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
Only about 25% of individuals who need hearing aids actually use them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative impacts are entirely unnecessary and preventable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.
Why so many choose not to use a hearing aid
Many individuals who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid using it. It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be advantageous for these individuals. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
A smaller but significant number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The connection between neglected hearing loss and overall health risks is now beginning to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more accessible and affordable. In addition, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t recognize how hearing loss impacts their overall life. In only a few years, your overall health cost can climb by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be decreased?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Show people how much better you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help get rid of the stigma.
Maximize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid in a while, meet with us for a demo.
If you feel you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, talk to us today about how to use your hearing aid more effectively.