Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and certain cognitive concerns as you grow older. 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 people who have untreated hearing loss. About 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to those who used a hearing aid.
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 sadder statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss on their heads
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered a “harmless” condition. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would just go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your general health is explored in this study.
This substantial and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.
How the research was carried out
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this study conducted by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the research participants. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. With this added verification, this study becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
Eating disorders like acute obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.
They have reduced reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries whilst cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, 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 usually becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only around 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. Yup! Many people have the means to shield themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many decide not to use 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 simply neglect wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Contemporary 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 technology and less like a hearing aid.
A smaller but considerable number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between untreated hearing loss and overall health hazards is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and obtainable. Additionally, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.
What can you do to reduce hearing-related depression symptoms?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Help combat 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 situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. If you’re just 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, contact us for a demo.
If you feel you’re not 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.