As we age, we all know that hearing loss and certain mental health challenges can get worse in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And a strong link between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be dismissed. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
People with neglected hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. About 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel as if people are angry with them for no reason.
Let’s explore this interesting study and an even sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss upside down
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 impact beyond the hearing impairment.
Now we know better. One of the effects 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 study done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. What they reported helped to give the participant’s comments validity. With this additional verification, this research becomes even more significant when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can result in severe obesity or significant loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with neglected hearing loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their reduced reaction time can lead to 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 advances, depression gets worse. The person often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only about 25% of individuals who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its adverse impacts are entirely unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.
Why so many decide not to wear a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many individuals say they do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect wearing 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 more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also an issue for a smaller yet substantial number of people. The connection between disregarded hearing loss and total health hazards is now starting to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. In addition, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in only a few years.
What can you do to reduce hearing-related depression symptoms?
Wear your hearing aid with pride. Show people how much better you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help get rid of the stigma.
Take a little time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid for a while, meet with us for a demo.
If you feel like you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, speak with us today about how to use your hearing aid more effectively.