As we get older, we all know that hearing loss and particular mental health concerns can worsen despite a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have found a strong link between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Individuals with untreated hearing loss are two times as likely to deal with depression. In contrast to individuals who use a hearing aid, regular 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 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 ideas about hearing loss will be entirely altered by this study
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been regarded as a “harmless” condition. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. People would simply 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.
Now we know better. One of the effects hearing loss can have on your general health is explored in this study.
As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and significant study.
How the study was conducted
Dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) conducted this research and surveyed more than 2000 people 50 and older. Individuals with untreated hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically relevant questions were asked to identify the levels of the following:
The study took a ground-breaking step by including over 2000 family members of the research participants. What they documented helped to give the participant’s statements validity. When we talk about hearing loss, this study, with the extra verification, becomes even more relevant.
How depression affects health and quality of life
Eating disorders such as acute obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in those who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with untreated hearing loss.
While driving, cooking, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can lead to severe injury. Those with depression have even been found to heal less quickly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
Depression can increase the risk of falling in older adults.
Depression worsens as hearing loss advances. The individual becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
Only about 25% of those who would benefit from hearing aids actually use them. Yup! Many individuals have the ability to protect themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why do so many individuals avoid using a hearing aid?
Many people who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They just won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be advantageous for these individuals. Present day hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more discreet. This makes them feel more like an extension of your smart tech and less like a hearing aid.
Price is also a problem for a smaller but significant number of individuals. States and insurance companies are now recognizing the link between untreated hearing loss and total health. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more available and cost-effective. In addition, individuals who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them in the long run. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. In just a few years, your overall health cost can increase by as much as 40% because of unaddressed hearing loss.
What can be done to decrease hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Wear your hearing aid proudly. Show people how much better you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help remove the stigma.
Maximize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little time to master the advanced features. If you’re just turning the volume up and down, you’re not getting the most from your hearing aid. Get a consultation with us so you can demo these upgraded hearing aids.
Consult us right away about the most effective way to utilize your hearing aid, particularly if you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to leave it at home.