As we age, we all know that hearing loss and specific mental health challenges can progress despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And a strong connection between the two has been discovered by scientists which should never be ignored. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
People with neglected hearing loss are twice as likely to suffer from depression. Compared to people who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at them for no reason.
Let’s explore this interesting study and an even more troubling statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
This study turns our ideas about hearing loss on their heads
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. People would simply go on with their lives attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss was not believed to have any health impact beyond 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 significant study.
How was this study done?
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 users and those with neglected hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:
More than 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help corroborate what the participants were self-reporting. When we talk about hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more pertinent.
How depression impacts 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 result in acute obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to experience insomnia and memory loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their decreased reaction time can lead to severe injury. Those with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase the risk of falling in older adults.
Depression progresses as hearing loss advances. The person often becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
Now, let’s look at a really sad statistic.
Usage rates of hearing aids
Only around 25% of people who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative effects are totally unnecessary and avoidable, yet they are not taking measures to prevent it.
Why so many decide not to wear a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t use a hearing aid, many individuals say they own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.
These people would benefit from a hearing aid update. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more discreet and allow people to 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. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the link between neglected hearing loss and general health. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. And untreated hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which most people don’t take into account. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be minimized?
Be proud to wear your hearing aid. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help get rid of the stigma.
Maximize your hearing in every situation with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. 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 for a while, contact us for a demo.
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.