Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and certain cognitive concerns as you grow older. And scientists have discovered a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be dismissed and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to cope with depression. About 27% more individuals with untreated hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to those who used a hearing aid.
They were also 24% more likely to stop doing things they used to love and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at them for no reason.
Let’s look at this fascinating study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss upside down
Age-related hearing loss has been considered 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 life healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t thought to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Now we know better. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your general health is investigated in this study.
As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and important study.
How was this study done?
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a mix of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to determine the levels of:
More than 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they reported helped to give the participant’s comments validity. When we talk about hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
Eating disorders such as acute obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in individuals who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with neglected hearing loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their reduced reaction time can result in severe injury. Healing is slower in people who cope with depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
The danger of falling for older people is also increased when an individual has depression.
As the hearing loss advances, so does the depression. The person usually becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Around 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 do so many people neglect using a hearing aid?
Many individuals who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They simply won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be beneficial for these people. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them seem more like an extension of your smart technology and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller but significant 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 accessible and cost-effective. In addition, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t recognize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. In only a few years, your total health cost can climb by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?
Wear your hearing aid with pride. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help remove the stigma.
Take some time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every setting. 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.
If you feel like you’re not 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.