Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive challenges as you get older. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be ignored and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Depression is twice as likely in people who are dealing with untreated hearing loss. Nearly 27% more people with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that those around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once enjoyed.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t really like it. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss on their heads
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition for centuries. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would simply go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t thought to have any health affects beyond the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that’s not the situation. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your general health is explored in this study.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.
How the study was carried out
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). Individuals with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
The study took a ground-breaking step by including more than 2000 family members of the research participants. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. With this added verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or significant weight loss. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with neglected hearing loss.
They have reduced reaction time, which can result in significant injuries when cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
Depression worsens 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 do so many people neglect using a hearing aid?
Many people who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect wearing it. They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be beneficial for these individuals. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart technology.
Price is also a problem for a smaller yet substantial number of individuals. The link between untreated hearing loss and general health risks is now starting to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more available and affordable. And untreated hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which most people don’t take into consideration. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. In only a few years, your overall health cost can increase by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much better you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Maximize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.
If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, talk to us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more successfully.