Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you get older. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
People with neglected hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. Close to 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” in contrast to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 24% more likely to stop doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at them for no reason.
Let’s look at this fascinating study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be completely transformed by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” affliction. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss was not believed to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that’s not the situation. This study illustrates just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
This substantial and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.
How the study was carried out
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically relevant questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
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 talk about hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more relevant.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and loss of memory.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can result in severe injury. Those who suffer 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 progresses, depression gets worse. The individual usually becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only around 25% of those who need hearing aids actually wear them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its adverse impacts are totally unnecessary and preventable, yet they are not taking steps to prevent it.
Why so many choose not to wear a hearing aid
Many people who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They just won’t wear it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be advantageous for these people. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also an issue for a smaller yet substantial number of individuals. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the link between neglected hearing loss and general health. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and obtainable. Additionally, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t recognize how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in only a few years.
What can be done to decrease hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Wear your hearing aid with pride. Help fight the stigma people feel about wearing a hearing aid by showing them how much better you feel when you can hear.
Take a little time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.