Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you grow older. And scientists have discovered a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be ignored and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
Individuals with neglected hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. In contrast to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that those around them get upset for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social experiences they once loved.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be completely altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” affliction. It was believed that the other senses would merely compensate. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Beyond hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other negative health effects.
Now we know better. This study presents just one of the larger effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
This important and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How the study was carried out
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:
The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the research participants. They did this to help validate what the participants were reporting. With this additional verification, this study becomes even more pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
Eating disorders such as severe obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with neglected hearing loss.
They have decreased reaction time, which can lead to severe injuries while cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase the risk of falling in older adults.
Depression progresses as hearing loss advances. The person becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.
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. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its unwanted impacts are entirely unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.
Why so many choose not to use a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many people say they do own one. They simply won’t wear it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid update. Today’s hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more discreet. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
Price is also an issue for a smaller but substantial number of individuals. The link between untreated hearing loss and overall 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 unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t take into consideration. They don’t recognize how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in just a few years.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be reduced?
Be proud to wear 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.
Take some time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every setting. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Get a consultation with us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.
Consult us as soon as possible about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, especially if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.