As we age, we all recognize that hearing loss and particular mental health challenges can get worse in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have discovered a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Individuals with neglected hearing loss are twice as likely to cope with depression. Nearly 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” in contrast to those 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 like people are angry with them for no reason.
There’s an even sadder statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t like it very much. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
Our beliefs about hearing loss will be entirely changed by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless affliction for centuries. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would just go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other negative health effects.
Now we know better. This study presents just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s overall health.
As a society, we will need to rethink hearing loss based on this well-structured and significant study.
How the study was carried out
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this study and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. 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 validate what the participants were reporting. With this added verification, this study becomes even more pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How depression affects health and quality of life
According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can cause severe obesity or extreme weight loss. Memory loss and insomnia are also more common in those with neglected hearing loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in individuals who suffer from depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
The chance of falling for older people is also increased when a person has depression.
Depression worsens as hearing loss advances. The individual often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only about 25% of individuals who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. That’s right. Many people have the means to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?
When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many individuals say they do own one. They simply won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be worthwhile for these people. 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 tech.
A smaller but significant number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between neglected hearing loss and general health risks is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more budget friendly and obtainable. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of individuals don’t take into account. They don’t understand how hearing loss effects their overall life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. 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 situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to master the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.
Consult us as soon as possible 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.