Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you age. And a strong connection between the two has been observed by scientists which should never be dismissed. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
People with neglected hearing loss are twice as likely to cope with depression. Compared to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to stop doing things they used to love and 39% more likely to feel as if 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. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
Our ideas about hearing loss will be entirely altered by this study
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. Beyond hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other negative health effects.
Now we know better. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your overall health is explored in this study.
As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How the research was carried out
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
The study took a ground-breaking step by including more than 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can lead to acute obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in individuals who cope with depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
The risk of falls for older people is also elevated when a person suffers from depression.
As the hearing loss progresses, depression gets worse. The individual often becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only about 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually wear them. That’s right. Many people have the means to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason avoid taking the steps.
Why so many choose not to wear a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many people say they own one. They just don’t use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be beneficial for these people. Present day hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart technology.
A smaller but significant number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. The connection between neglected hearing loss and general health risks is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more available and cost-effective. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which most individuals don’t take into account. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Neglected 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 decreased?
Have pride in wearing 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 a little time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
If you feel like you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, speak with us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more successfully.