Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could experience hearing loss and certain cognitive challenges as you get older. And a strong connection between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be ignored. So don’t turn off that hearing aid.
People with neglected hearing loss are two times as likely to suffer from depression. Close to 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “often feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
They were also 39% more likely to feel that the people around them get irritated for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social experiences they once loved.
Let’s look at this fascinating study and an even sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Keep that hearing aid turned on!
Our ideas about hearing loss will be entirely changed by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition 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. Apart from hearing impairment, it was thought that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
Now we know better. This study demonstrates just one of the larger 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 compelling study.
How was this study done?
Over 2000 individuals 50 or older were surveyed in this research conducted by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). Individuals with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain 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 self-reporting. When we discuss hearing loss, this study, with the extra verification, becomes even more relevant.
How depression affects health and quality of life
Eating disorders like severe obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in individuals who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with neglected hearing loss.
They have diminished reaction time, which can result in significant injuries whilst cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Healing is slower in individuals who cope with depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.
The risk of falling for older people is also increased when an individual suffers from depression.
As the hearing loss advances, depression gets worse. The individual usually becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Around 75% of people who should use hearing aids don’t wear them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its adverse impacts are entirely unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking steps to stop it.
Why do so many individuals avoid using a hearing aid?
Many individuals who don’t use a hearing aid actually do own one. They think it makes them look old so they simply avoid wearing it. They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be advantageous for these individuals. Present day hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also an issue for a smaller but significant number of individuals. The link between neglected hearing loss and overall 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. In addition, individuals who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-untreated hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t recognize how hearing loss impacts their overall life. Neglected hearing loss can increase your total healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.
What can be done to lessen hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Take a little time to master the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every situation. 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.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to use your hearing aid, particularly if you recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.