Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you age. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be ignored and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
Depression is twice as likely in people who are dealing with neglected hearing loss. Compared to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 39% more likely to think those around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social activities they once loved.
There’s an even sadder statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t really like it. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss upside down
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. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss was not believed to have any health impact besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that isn’t the case. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is explored in this study.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and important study.
How was this study done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed over 2000 individuals 50 and older. People with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. 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. What they documented helped to give the participant’s comments validity. When we discuss hearing loss, this study, with the extra verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
Eating disorders like 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 experience insomnia and memory loss.
They have diminished reaction time, which can result in severe injuries when cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The chance of falling for older people is also elevated when a person suffers from depression.
As the hearing loss advances, depression gets worse. The individual often becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and isolation set in.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only around 25% of those who need hearing aids actually wear them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its unwanted impacts are completely unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking steps to stop it.
Why so many decide not to wear a hearing aid
Many people who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They just won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid update. Contemporary hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet 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. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the connection between neglected hearing loss and overall health. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and obtainable. Additionally, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t recognize how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in only a few years.
What can be done to minimize hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Wear your hearing aid with pride. Help combat the stigma people feel about using a hearing aid by showing them how much healthier you feel when you can hear.
Optimize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. 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.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to utilize 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.