As we age, we all recognize that hearing loss and certain mental health concerns can progress in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And a strong connection between the two has been recognized by scientists which should never be dismissed. So keep that hearing aid turned on.
People with untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to cope with depression. In contrast to people who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have neglected hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to stop doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel like people are mad at them for no reason.
There’s an even more troubling 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 totally altered by this study
Age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a harmless condition for centuries. It was thought that the other senses would merely compensate. People would just go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss was not believed to have any health affects besides the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that’s not the situation. This study demonstrates just one of the larger effects that hearing loss has on a person’s overall health.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How the study was carried out
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this research carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with neglected hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. With this additional verification, this study becomes even more relevant when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to develop eating disorders that can cause acute obesity or extreme loss of weight. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in people who suffer from depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
Depression can increase fall risk in older adults.
As the hearing loss advances, depression gets worse. The person usually 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
Around 75% of individuals who need hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. Many individuals have the ability to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason avoid taking the steps.
Why do so many people avoid using 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.” It makes them embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be beneficial for these people. Today’s hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more discreet. This makes them feel less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
A smaller but significant number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the link between untreated hearing loss and total health. Hearing aids are, due to this, becoming more available and affordable. And neglected hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which most people don’t think about. They don’t recognize how hearing loss effects their overall life. Neglected 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?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Show people how much better you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Take some time to learn the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to maximize your hearing experience in every situation. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most out of your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
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 use your hearing aid more effectively.