Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience 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 ignored. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
Depression is two times as likely in people who are dealing with untreated hearing loss. In contrast 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 39% more likely to feel that those around them get annoyed for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid 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 off that hearing aid!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be entirely changed by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered a “harmless” affliction. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their life healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that isn’t the case. 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 important study.
How the research was carried out
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study conducted by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a combination of hearing aid wearers and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:
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 reporting. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How depression affects health and quality of life
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can cause acute obesity or extreme loss of weight. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with untreated hearing loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in individuals who cope with depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The person often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
About 75% of individuals who need hearing aids don’t use them. That’s right. Many individuals have the ability to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason avoid taking the steps.
Why so many decide not to use 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 just avoid wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be worthwhile for these individuals. Today’s hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller but significant number of people. The connection between disregarded 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 accessible and affordable. And neglected hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which most people don’t think about. They’re not aware 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 40% in just a few years.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be minimized?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Show people how much better you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help get rid of the stigma.
Take some time to learn the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re only turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. Consult us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
If you feel like you aren’t 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.
Call Today to Set Up an Appointment