As we age, we all know that hearing loss and specific mental health concerns can progress despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have recognized a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be dismissed and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Depression is twice as likely in people who are dealing with neglected hearing loss. About 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they used to love and 39% more likely to feel as if people are angry with them for no reason.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss upside down
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless affliction for centuries. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. People would simply go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is investigated 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). The participants included a combination of hearing aid wearers and those with untreated hearing loss. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help validate what the participants were reporting. When we talk about hearing loss, this study, with the extra verification, becomes even more relevant.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
Eating disorders like acute obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with neglected hearing loss.
While cooking, driving, and other activities, their reduced reaction time can lead to severe injury. Those who suffer with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The risk of falls for older people is also increased when a person suffers from depression.
Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The person often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
About 75% of individuals who need hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! Many people have the ability to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from 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 neglect wearing it. It makes them 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 technology.
Price is also an issue for a smaller but substantial number of individuals. The connection between neglected hearing loss and general health hazards is now beginning to be acknowledged by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more available and cost-effective. Additionally, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. In only a few years, your overall health cost can increase by as much as 40% because of neglected hearing loss.
What can you do to reduce hearing-related depression symptoms?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much better you can feel when you’re able to 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 master the advanced features. You’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
Consult us as soon as possible about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.