Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive concerns as you grow older. And a strong connection between the two has been discovered by scientists which should never be overlooked. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
Depression is two times as likely in individuals who have neglected hearing loss. Close to 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that those around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social activities they once enjoyed.
Let’s explore this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss on their heads
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered a “harmless” affliction. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. The person would simply get by and go on to live the rest of their life healthily, safely, 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 effects hearing loss can have on your overall health is investigated in this study.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.
How was this study done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this study and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. Individuals with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to identify the levels of:
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 comments validity. With this additional verification, this research becomes even more pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
Eating disorders such as severe obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in individuals who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can result in severe injury. Healing is slower in individuals who suffer from depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
The danger of falling for older people is also elevated when an individual has depression.
Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The person often becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Around 75% of individuals who should use hearing aids don’t use them. That’s right. For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative impacts are entirely unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking measures to prevent it.
Why so many decide not to wear a hearing aid
Many people who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid using it. It makes them embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid upgrade. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and let people sync with devices. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart technology.
A smaller but significant number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The connection between untreated hearing loss and total health hazards is now starting to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and accessible. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. In just a few years, your total health cost can increase by as much as 40% because of unaddressed hearing loss.
What can you do to lessen hearing-related depression symptoms?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Help fight the stigma people feel about using a hearing aid by showing them how much better you feel when you can hear.
Maximize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. If you haven’t upgraded your hearing aid in a while, meet with us for a demo.
Consult us as soon as possible about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, especially if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.