As we get older, we all know that hearing loss and certain mental health concerns can worsen in spite of a healthy, active lifestyle. And scientists have recognized a strong connection between the two that shouldn’t be overlooked and it will help if you don’t turn that hearing aid off.
Depression is two times as likely in people who have neglected hearing loss. About 27% more people with untreated hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” compared to people who used a hearing aid.
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 transformed by this study
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 attempting to live safely, healthily, and happily. Hearing loss was not believed to have any health affects beyond the hearing impairment.
Of course we now know that’s not the case. This study demonstrates just one of the greater effects that hearing loss has on a person’s general health.
This significant and well-structured study forces us to reconsider hearing loss as a society.
How was this study done?
Committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA) carried out this research and surveyed over 2000 people 50 and older. The participants included a combination of hearing aid users and those with untreated hearing loss. Clinically relevant questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:
More than 2000 family members of the participants were also included 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 pertinent when we discuss the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
Eating disorders such as acute obesity or significant weight loss are more likely in people who cope with depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Memory loss and insomnia are also more predominant in those with untreated hearing loss.
They have reduced reaction time, which can result in severe injuries while cooking, cleaning, driving, and other activities. Healing is slower in people who cope with depression and that can result in longer hospital stays.
The chance of falls for older people is also increased when an individual suffers from depression.
Depression progresses as hearing loss progresses. The person often becomes more and more secluded, lonely, and unable to care for him or herself.
Now, let’s take a look at a really sad statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
About 75% of individuals who should use hearing aids don’t use them. Yup! For many, this increased rate of depression and all of its negative effects are totally unnecessary and avoidable, yet they’re not taking steps to prevent it.
Why do so many people 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 neglect wearing it. It makes them embarrassed.
These individuals would benefit from a hearing aid update. Today’s hearing aids can sync to your smart devices, work better, and are more subtle. This makes them seem less like a hearing aid and more like an extension of their smart tech.
A smaller but considerable number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. States and insurance companies are now starting to recognize the link between neglected hearing loss and general health. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and accessible. Additionally, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They don’t understand how hearing loss impacts their overall life. In only a few years, your overall health cost can go up by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.
What can be done to decrease hearing-related depression symptoms?
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 erase the stigma.
Maximize your hearing in every setting with your modern hearing aid by taking some time to learn the advanced features. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult 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 recognize that you’re not getting the most out of it and are tempted to put it in a drawer.