A happy male, wearing hearing aids, sitting with a female for coffee. Focus is on the hearing aid.

Even if you have an active, healthy lifestyle, you could develop hearing loss and specific cognitive concerns as you grow older. And a strong link between the two has been observed by scientists which should never be overlooked. So keep that hearing aid turned on.

Individuals with untreated hearing loss are twice as likely to cope with depression. Nearly 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to those who used a hearing aid.

They were also 24% more likely to quit doing things they used to love and 39% more likely to feel as if people are mad at them for no reason.

There’s an even sadder statistic you should be aware of, though you won’t like it very much. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!

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 believed that the other senses would merely compensate. The person would simply 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 impact beyond the hearing impairment.

Of course we now know that’s not the case. This study presents just one of the larger effects that hearing loss has on a person’s overall health.

As a society, we will need to reconsider hearing loss based on this well-structured and compelling study.

How the research was carried out

Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study conducted by dedicated 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 determine the levels of:

  • Isolation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

More than 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. They did this to help validate what the participants were reporting. With this additional verification, this study becomes even more relevant when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.

How depression impacts health and quality of life

According to the American Psychological Association, those suffering from depression are more likely to experience eating disorders that can result in severe obesity or extreme weight loss. They are more likely to suffer from insomnia and loss of memory.

While cooking, driving, and other activities, their diminished reaction time can lead to severe injury. Healing is slower in people who suffer from depression and that can lead to longer hospital stays.

The chance of falling for older people is also elevated when an individual suffers from depression.

Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The person often becomes less able to care for themselves as loneliness and solitude set in.

But there’s an even sadder statistic.

Usage rates of hearing aids

About 75% of individuals who need hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! Many individuals have the means to shield themselves from depression by using hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.

Why do so many individuals neglect using a hearing aid?

When asked why they don’t wear a hearing aid, many people say they own one. They think it makes them look old so they just neglect wearing it. They’re embarrassed.

A hearing aid upgrade would be worthwhile 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 less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart technology.

A smaller but significant number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between disregarded hearing loss and total health hazards is now beginning to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and obtainable. Additionally, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t understand how hearing loss effects their overall life. Unaddressed hearing loss can increase your overall healthcare costs by as much as 4o percent in just a few years.

How can hearing associated depression symptoms be decreased?

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.

Maximize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking a little 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, meet with us for a demo.

If you feel you’re not 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.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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