As we age, we all know that hearing loss and particular mental health concerns can get worse 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.
Depression is twice as likely in people who have neglected hearing loss. Compared to individuals who use a hearing aid, regular feelings of sadness were reported 27% more in those 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.
Let’s explore this interesting study and an even sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should know about. Don’t turn off that hearing aid!
This study turns our thoughts about hearing loss on their heads
For centuries, age-related hearing loss has been considered a “harmless” affliction. It was widely believed that compensation would come from all of the other senses. The person would just get by and go on to live the rest of their days healthily, safely, and happily. Apart from hearing impairment, it was believed that loss of hearing had no other adverse health effects.
Of course we now know that isn’t the situation. One of the impacts hearing loss can have on your overall health is investigated in this study.
This important and well-structured study forces us to rethink hearing loss as a society.
How the research was conducted
Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study carried out by committed researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). 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:
Over 2000 family members of the participants were also involved in this ground-breaking study. What they documented helped to give the participant’s comments validity. With this additional verification, this study becomes even more pertinent when we talk about the effects of hearing loss.
How health and quality of life are affected by depression
Eating disorders like severe obesity or extreme weight loss are more likely in individuals who suffer from depression, according to the American Psychological Association. They are more likely to experience insomnia and loss of memory.
They have diminished reaction time, which can lead to significant injuries while cooking, driving, cleaning, and other activities. Those with depression have even been found to heal more slowly, leading to complications and lengthy hospital stays.
The danger of falling for older people is also elevated when an individual suffers from depression.
Depression worsens as hearing loss progresses. The person often becomes more and more isolated, lonely, and unable to care for themselves.
But there’s an even sadder statistic.
Hearing aid usage rates
About 75% of individuals who should use hearing aids don’t use them. That’s right. Many individuals have the ability to shield themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.
Why do so many people 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 simply neglect using it. They’re embarrassed.
A hearing aid update would be beneficial for these individuals. 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 technology.
A smaller but significant number of individuals say they can’t afford one. The connection between neglected hearing loss and total health hazards is now starting to be recognized by states and insurance companies. They are helping to make hearing aids more affordable and obtainable. In addition, individuals who object to the cost of hearing aids also don’t realize how much-neglected hearing loss can cost them over time. They’re not aware of how hearing loss will impact their health and quality of life. In just a few years, your total health cost can go up by as much as 40% because of untreated hearing loss.
What can you do to minimize hearing-associated depression symptoms?
Have pride in wearing your hearing aid. Show people how much better you can feel when you can hear, wear your hearing aids proudly, and help erase the stigma.
Optimize your hearing in every situation 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. Consult us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.
If you feel like 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.