As we get older, we all recognize that hearing loss and certain mental health concerns can worsen in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have recognized a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
People with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. In contrast to individuals who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel like people are angry with them for no reason.
Let’s look at this interesting 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 ideas about hearing loss will be completely altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. 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 wasn’t thought to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.
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 reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How was this study done?
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 individuals 50 and older. People with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. With this additional verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How depression affects health and quality of life
Eating disorders such as severe obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in people who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and loss of memory.
They have reduced reaction time, which can result in severe injuries when cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Healing is slower in people who cope with depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
Depression can increase the risk of falling in older adults.
Depression progresses as hearing loss advances. The person often becomes less able to care 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 need hearing aids actually use them. That’s right. Many people have the means to shield themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many individuals say they do own one. They just won’t wear it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid update. 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 tech.
A smaller but significant number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between neglected 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 affordable and obtainable. Additionally, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of 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 minimized?
Have pride in wearing 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 situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid for a while, contact us for a demo.
If you feel you aren’t 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.