As we get older, we all know that hearing loss and particular mental health concerns can worsen despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have recognized a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be dismissed and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Depression is two times as likely in people who are dealing with untreated hearing loss. About 27% more individuals with untreated hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that those around them get annoyed for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social activities they once loved.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t like it very much. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss upside down
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. It was believed that the other senses would merely compensate. People would just go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is explored in this study.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and significant study.
How the study was carried out
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this study and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
Over 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 study, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.
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 develop eating disorders that can lead to severe obesity or extreme loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more prevalent in those with neglected hearing loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in people who suffer from depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
The danger of falls for older people is also elevated when a person suffers from depression.
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 look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only around 25% of individuals who would benefit from 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 avoidable, yet they are not taking steps to prevent it.
Why do so many individuals neglect using 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. It makes them embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Present day hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more discreet. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart technology.
A smaller but considerable number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between untreated hearing loss and general health hazards is now starting to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and obtainable. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t understand how hearing loss effects their overall life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be minimized?
Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Optimize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to master the advanced features. 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’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, speak with us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more effectively.