Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you get older. And scientists have found a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be dismissed and it will help if you don’t switch that hearing aid off.
Depression is twice as likely in people who are dealing with neglected hearing loss. In contrast to individuals who use a hearing aid, frequent feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in people who have untreated hearing loss.
They were also 24% more likely to stop doing things they once loved and 39% more likely to feel as if people are angry with them for no reason.
There’s an even more troubling statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t like it very much. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss on their heads
Age-related hearing loss has been considered a harmless condition for centuries. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would just go on with their lives trying to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss was not thought to have any health affects beyond the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that’s not the situation. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your general health is investigated in this study.
This substantial and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How was this research done?
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this research and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid wearers and those with neglected hearing loss. They asked clinically-relevant questions to ascertain the levels of:
The study took a ground-breaking step by introducing more than 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help validate what the participants were self-reporting. When we talk about hearing loss, this research, with the extra verification, becomes even more relevant.
How health and quality of life are impacted by depression
Eating disorders like severe obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in people who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and memory loss.
They have decreased reaction time, which can lead to significant injuries whilst cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, causing complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The chance of falls for older people is also elevated when an individual has depression.
As the hearing loss advances, depression gets worse. The person becomes less capable of caring for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only around 25% of those who need hearing aids actually wear them. That’s right. Many people have the ability to protect themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason avoid taking the steps.
Why so many choose not to use a hearing aid
When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many individuals say they do own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect using it. They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid upgrade would be beneficial for these individuals. Modern hearing aids work better, and they are also more unobtrusive and allow people to sync with devices. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
A smaller but considerable number of individuals say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the connection between untreated hearing loss and total health. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more accessible and cost-effective. And neglected hearing loss can cost a lot of money over time which the majority of people don’t think about. They’re unaware of how hearing loss will affect their health and quality of life. Untreated hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 40% in only a few years.
How can hearing related depression symptoms be reduced?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Show people how much healthier you can feel when you’re able to hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help remove 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 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.
If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, talk to us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more successfully.