Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and specific cognitive challenges as you get older. And a strong link between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be dismissed. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to cope with depression. Nearly 27% more people with neglected hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” in contrast to those who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that those around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to avoid social experiences they once loved.
There’s an even sadder statistic you should know about, though you won’t really like it. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss upside down
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. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their life healthily, safely, and happily. Hearing loss wasn’t believed to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your overall health is investigated in this study.
As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and significant study.
How was this study done?
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this study carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). People with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to identify the levels of:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also included in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help validate what the participants were reporting. When we talk about hearing loss, this study, with the added verification, becomes even more relevant.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those who struggle with depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can result in severe obesity or significant loss of weight. They are more likely to experience insomnia and memory loss.
They have diminished reaction time, which can result in significant injuries when cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
As the hearing loss progresses, depression gets worse. The person often becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only around 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many individuals have the ability to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why so many choose not to wear a hearing aid
Many individuals who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They just don’t wear it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be beneficial for these individuals. 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 tech.
A smaller but significant number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the link between neglected hearing loss and general health. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more available and affordable. And unaddressed hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t take into account. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. In just a few years, your total health cost can climb by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.
What can you do to decrease hearing-related depression symptoms?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. 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 setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to not use it, speak with us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more effectively.