Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you age. And a strong link between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be dismissed. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
Depression is two times as likely in people who have untreated hearing loss. In contrast to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have untreated hearing loss.
They were also 39% more likely to think those around them get annoyed for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social activities they once enjoyed.
There’s an even sadder statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t really like it. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be completely altered by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition for centuries. 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 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 general health is explored in this study.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How the study was conducted
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically relevant questions were asked to determine the levels of the following:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help validate what the participants were self-reporting. With this added verification, this study becomes even more significant when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How depression impacts health and quality of life
Eating disorders like severe obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in those who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to experience insomnia and memory loss.
They have reduced reaction time, which can lead to significant injuries whilst 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 fall risk in older adults.
Depression progresses as hearing loss advances. The individual 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
Only around 25% of those who need hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many individuals have the means to protect themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why do so many individuals avoid using a hearing aid?
Many individuals who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply neglect using it. They’re embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid update. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel 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. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the link between untreated hearing loss and general health. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more accessible and affordable. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of individuals don’t take into account. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
What can you do to decrease hearing-associated depression symptoms?
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 erase the stigma.
Optimize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to master 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 recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.