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 two times as likely to deal with depression. Nearly 27% more individuals with neglected hearing loss reported “frequently feeling sad” in contrast to those who used a hearing aid.

They were also 39% more likely to feel that the people around them get upset for “no reason” and 24% more likely to steer clear of social experiences they once loved.

Let’s look at this interesting study and an even sadder statistic you won’t want to hear but should be aware of. Don’t turn that hearing aid off!

This study turns our ideas about hearing loss upside down

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 believed to have any health impact beyond the hearing impairment.

Of course we now know that isn’t the case. 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 compelling study.

How the research was carried out

Over 2000 people 50 or older were surveyed in this study carried out by dedicated researchers at the National Institute for Aging (NCOA). People with neglected hearing loss and people who used hearing aids were among the participants. Clinically pertinent questions were asked to establish the levels of the following:

  • Isolation
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

The study took a ground-breaking step by including over 2000 family members of the study participants. They did this to help validate what the participants were reporting. When we discuss hearing loss, this research, with the added verification, becomes even more relevant.

How depression affects 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 memory loss.

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

The chance of falls for older people is also elevated when a person has depression.

As the hearing loss progresses, depression gets worse. The individual 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 people who should use hearing aids don’t wear them. That’s right. Many individuals have the ability to protect themselves from depression by wearing hearing aids but for some reason abstain from taking the steps.

Why so many decide not to wear a hearing aid

Many people who don’t wear a hearing aid actually do own one. They simply won’t use it because it makes them “look old.” It makes them embarrassed.

A hearing aid upgrade would be worthwhile 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 considerable number of people say hearing aids are too expensive. The link between neglected hearing loss and overall health hazards is now starting to be recognized by states and insurance companies. Hearing aids are, because of this, becoming more accessible and affordable. In addition, people who object to the price of hearing aids also don’t understand how much-untreated 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 total health cost can go up by as much as 40% because of neglected hearing loss.

How can hearing related depression symptoms be decreased?

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.

Take a little time to learn the advanced features of your modern hearing aid to optimize your hearing experience in every situation. You’re not getting the most from your hearing aid by simply cranking up the volume. Consult us so you can try out these upgraded hearing aids.

If you feel you aren’t getting the most out of your hearing aid and are tempted to leave it off, speak with us today about how to make use of your hearing aid more effectively.

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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.